He has experienced the highs of a promotion push and the lows of two relegation battles during separate spells with Fleetwood Town, but Wes Burns believes there is real quality in the squad this season.
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Burns, 23, helped to keep Fleetwood in League One while on loan from Championship club Bristol City in 2015-16.
The Welshman returned to Highbury on a permanent deal in January last year but narrowly missed out on promotion that season with Uwe Rosler’s side.
The attacker was part of last season’s squad that just escaped the drop again, but now under Joey Barton Town head to leaders Portsmouth on Saturday in eighth spot after 13 games.
And for Burns, this Town squad differs from previous ones because of its combination of experience and quality following the recruitment of Dean Marney, Craig Morgan, Ryan Taylor, Ross Wallace and striker Ched Evans.
The winger said: “I think there is a lot of quality in our squad this year with experience as well. That touch of experience is probably what we needed in the last two seasons.
“In the last few seasons we had the naivete of a young squad but now we are getting into the last 15 minutes of a game knowing how to see the game out.”
Burn scored and was named man of the match in last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Shrewsbury Town but he is not talking promotion possibilities just yet.
He said: “I don’t want to talk too far ahead. Two wins from two now but we just take each game as it comes.”
Burns netted the winner after Paddy Madden opened the scoring from an Ash Hunter cross on Saturday, then keeper Alex Cairns secured the win with a last- gasp save from Mat Sadler and the Welshman was full of praise for his team-mates.
He added: “Cairnsy has kept us in a lot of games this season. Like Ash and Paddy, he has been on fire .
“Ash and Paddy again –it is a recurring thing and I just hope they carry on what they have been doing for the rest of the season.
“But throughout the 90 minutes it was a team effort that got us the points. It was nice to chip in with the second goal. I’m just glad it helped us get three points.”
Burns also spoke of his frustration at missing four weeks of football after his red card in the 2-1 win over Bradford on September 1.
Burns returned for the 3-1 home defeat by Barnsley, then was back in the starting line-up and the goals against Shrewsbury.
He said: “It was very frustrating. The red card was a bit of a harsh one (for a challenge on Adam Chicksen).
“I missed four games (three in League One and the Checkatrade defeat by Rochdale), and there were no midweek league games so it was a whole month before I was back in the team, which was a bit of a kick in the teeth.
“I’m just glad to be back in contention each week and glad that I can have an input into each game.”