Burns’ wing wizardry a timely boost for Town

Fleetwood Town's Wes Burns outpaces Doncaster Rovers' Harry Toffolo
Fleetwood Town's Wes Burns outpaces Doncaster Rovers' Harry Toffolo

Wes Burns’ cameo at right wing-back has given boss Uwe Rosler food for thought ahead of this weekend’s crunch derby with Blackpool.

The striker filled in for the suspended Lewie Coyle in the 1-0 defeat at MK Dons and was man of the match for the 0-0 draw with Doncaster Rovers.

After a mammoth month of football, he was rested for the midweek 4-2 defeat at Walsall.

Coyle served the last game of his three-match suspension in midweek with Godswill Ekpolo taking his slot to give Burns a rest after four games in 13 days.

Rosler praised Ekpolo for his effort in that defeat at Walsall, with Burns returning to a forward role off the bench.

But speaking before the Walsall game, Rosler said that Burns could provide a different option for the wing-back role ahead of Saturday’s Highbury meeting with Blackpool.

He said: “That Wes has played the way he has played in the games (against Doncaster and MK Dons) is very encouraging.

“He can be an option in that position, not just in the short term but also in the medium and long term

“Sometimes the situation like what happened with Lewie leads you to discover something by being creative like we were to put him in that position. Then you discover a player that you had never thought about before.

“I always say to the players you have to be prepared and expect to play maybe when you don’t expect it, that now is the time to show for themselves and also to us what they can deliver.”

That does perhaps leave the writing on the wall for Victor Nirennold, who often deputised for Conor McLaughlin when he was on international duty with Northern Ireland.

But the Frenchman has fallen behind Coyle, Burns and Ekpolo, with Harvey Rodgers and Jack Sowerby also able to fill the role.

It is a position Burns has played before for Championship side Bristol City.

Burns, who turns 23 today, joined Town from the Robins last January to start his second spell at the club after a successful loan spell at the end of the 2015/16 term.

And after scoring in the 2-2 draw at Blackburn on Halloween – his first league goal since netting for Town in a 2-0 win over Peterborough in April 2016 – Burns is hoping the goals will now start to flow.

He said: “I came to the club to bolster the attacking options, and obviously when Lewie comes back into contention I can move further forward. That gives me a better chance to go and score some goals.”