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Ipswich Town striker George Hirst feels Wes Burns’ wonder-strike against Coventry City would be his Blues goal-of-the-season so far





Ipswich Town striker George Hirst admits he would choose Wes Burns’ magical outside-of-the-boot strike in the 2-1 home victory against Coventry as the club’s goal of the season so far.

The summer signing from Leicester City had put the Blues in front inside six minutes after finishing off Nathan Broadhead’s throughball before Burns lit up Portman Road with his outside-of-the-boot curling effort into the top corner in the 41st minute.

It was the latest in a series of sensational goals to be witnessed from Kieran McKenna’s Championship high-flyers, with the 24-year-old believing it to be the cream of the crop.

George Hirst scored his fifth goal of the season against Coventry City Picture: Barry Goodwin
George Hirst scored his fifth goal of the season against Coventry City Picture: Barry Goodwin

Asked about Wes Burns’ goal, having had a good view of it, he said: “Yes, wow, that was something special for sure.

“It was pretty impressive,” he said of the trivela effort, as it is termed.

I’ve seen him try that quite a few times and that was definitely the best of the bunch, saving it for the right time and the right occasion.

“Building up to it to get it out to Wes was brilliant and Wes has got the quality to go either way, inside or outside, so for him it’s a brilliant goal and for us it’s an even better goal to put us 2-0 up so I’m delighted for him.”

He feels a goal of the season competition would have no lack of entries for the Blues so far this campaign.

“Yes, I think I said down the stairs there’s a few that are going to miss out, a few really good goals, but we’ve scored some crackers this season,” he said.

“It’s just about us continuing to score goals whether that be a team goal or a moment of brilliance like Wes produced today, as long as that ball goes in the back of the net we’re all happy as can be.

“But when you score goals like that or see goals like that go in it’s good.”

Asked if he had a favourite Town goal this season, he said: “I think it could be that one today to be honest, I think it really could be, that was pretty special.

“The technique needed to pull that off, people don’t realise how hard that is, especially from that distance, the shape of it and everything, so I’ll give that one to Wes.”

Saturday’s result, which saw Town remain second in the table and one point off leaders Leicester City and seven ahead of third-placed Leeds United, continued their rich vein of form at Portman Road. It was an eighth straight league win since losing 4-3 to Leeds in August with the last two coming in the space of four days, following on from the 3-1 victory against Millwall on Wednesday.

Hirst said: "I think our home form is something we really try and focus on, and I think it's a big place for us to come and play.

George Hirst is pleased to have developed the physical side of his game this season Picture: Barry Goodwin
George Hirst is pleased to have developed the physical side of his game this season Picture: Barry Goodwin

“We love playing here in front of the fans and to take six points here on a Wednesday-Saturday is really good for us.”

Put to him it was a bit of a different win to the ones which have seen them rack up goals, with Coventry being the first side to restrict them to under three in the league since Stoke City in the opening game, he said: “It’s still as enjoyable for us. We know when we’re playing here we feel like we’ve got that 12th man with the crowd and the energy we want to put into it and it’s just about finding that little bit extra away from home as well so we can really dial that same form in wherever we’re playing.

“Playing here is a special place to play and playing in front of this crowd is pretty easy at the minute.”

Put to him that Portman Road feels the best value for a season ticket at the moment and the place to be, he said: “It does. That’s the environment we want to try and create. It’s a cold day so the least we can do is go and put on a show for the people who’ve come to the game.

“We want to make this an exciting place to come and play and make this somewhere people want to come and watch whether you’re from Ipswich or not, if you hear about Ipswich and want to come and watch Ipswich play.

“I think we’re doing that at the minute, we’ve created an environment which is exciting for us as players to play in and hopefully exciting for the fans to watch.

“For us it’s just about keeping that going.”

Asked about his opening goal, he said: “As soon as Broady (Nathan Broadhead) gets turned that’s my cue to get my shoulders down on the pitch and get on my bike which I did and Broady’s got the quality to find me nine times out of 10 and he did today.

“I got myself in that position and kept my composure to slide it past the goalkeeper so I was pretty happy with that.”

And having held off Liam Kitching well before finishing he feels he is improving the physical side of his game.

“Yes, I’m a big lad so I need to use my body well at times,” he said.

“It’s one of those things the coaching staff have been onto me about making myself more physical and using my body to my advantage a little bit more and I feel like I’m starting to get my head around that a little bit more.”

Asked for his thoughts about the East Anglian Derby with Norwich City, now Town’s next home game on December 16, he said: “It’s a difficult one as it’s no good us thinking about that and then going and losing the next two away games (at Middlesbrough Saturday and Watford the following Tuesday).

“It’s hard to really think about right now as it’s still a little bit too far out for me to start thinking about that, but when the time comes that it’s the next game it’ll be probably 10-fold concentration as that’s a game everyone here wants to win.

“Everyone knows the importance of that and I’m by no means down-playing it, it’s a massive game for us as a group and a massive game for the club in general.

“But we’ve got big games before that that will require our full concentration so there’s no thought on that now but when the time comes we’ll be ready.”

Asked if playing and beating Norwich was something that has always been mentioned since he arrived at the club, he said: “Yes, especially the local lads have made me and everyone else aware of how big the game it is and the importance of that game not only to them but to the rest of the town.

“It’s quite a strange feeling really but I sort of understand it being from Sheffield with the Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United games, and like I say, we’ll be ready when the time comes.”

Asked about what it has been like playing in the foggy, sub-zero conditions at Portman Road, he quipped: “You get these days in the middle of summer where I’m from so it’s short sleeves and no gloves or that rubbish.

“You just go out there and if you’re cold you run a little bit harder, that’s how I’ll see it and how I’ll always see it.”

Asked if he had ideal weather conditions he likes playing in, he said: “I quite enjoy this to be honest. I always quite enjoy a little rain, it keeps you fresh, it stops you getting too hot when you’re running around, so I don’t mind days like today.”