In-form Dan looking to Burn former club

Dan Burn

Dan Burn

As any match-going Wigan Athletic fan will confirm, there hasn’t been a more consistent performer in recent weeks than Dan Burn.

Just don’t ask the big centre-back – who has recovered from a mixed start to his Latics career following his arrival from Fulham last summer – to join in the hype.

The more games you play together as a back four, and a back five with the goalkeeper, the better it’s going to be

Dan Burn

“I don’t really like to talk about that to be honest, because whenever I talk about that it tends to go the other way!” he told the Evening Post.

“What I will say is that I am very happy with the way I’m playing at the minute, and I think that’s just come from the manager and the confidence he’s given me.

“We did get off to a patchy start, with that first game (against Reading), but we’ve all done well since then and I do feel my performances have come on.”

Burn feels his upturn in form – which has been mirrored by the rest of his defensive colleagues – has come from boss Warren Joyce being able to name a settled backline, unlike predecessor Gary Caldwell.

“It does take time to gel within a back four, and knowing when the other lads are going to step in and try to challenge a forward, or drop off,” Burn acknowledged.

“The more games you play together as a back four, and a back five with the goalkeeper, the better it’s going to be.

“This is probably the most settled time we’ve had as a defence all season.

“If you look at the start of the season, we changed formation and personnel, and it is difficult to do that.

“Thankfully we have been a lot more solid in recent months, and hopefully we can keep that going.”

Burn will certainly be looking to impress this weekend when he makes his first return to Fulham, having ended an enjoyable five-year stint in the capital when he joined Latics seven months ago.

“There were two big ones as far as I was concerned when the fixtures came out – Newcastle and this one,” explained Burn in a broad north-east twang.

“It’s not like I feel I’ve got a point to prove, but it’s one I have been waiting for and I’m looking forward to going back.

“I really enjoyed my time at Fulham – they took me away from Darlington and gave me my chance to play in the Premier League.

“It was a bit mixed towards the end, because I did feel like I could have been playing more, and then there was a change of manager.

“But it was mostly positive, to be fair, and I’ve a lot of friends still there.

“The day I signed for Fulham, I also had a chance to sign for Newcastle, who were my boyhood team.

“But I think it was good for me to get away.

“I got away from, not bad influences, but I knew if I was there I wouldn’t be concentrating on my football all the time.

“I think it matured me a lot at a young age – from where I lived it was only a 20-minute train into the centre of London.

“Looking back, we probably didn’t make the most of living down there!”

Not that Burn will be in for a comfortable return to Craven Cottage, with burly Fulham striker Chris Martin ready to give him a thorough examination.

“It’s always a good physical battle when you play against Chris Martin,” recognised Burn.

“Obviously I played against him up here (in the corresponding fixture), and I’ve played against him a few times for other clubs.

“It’s always a challenge, but to be honest that plays to my advantages.

“As a player, I’m not at an advantage against the smaller, nippy, strikers who have a yard on you.

“I find those type of players a lot harder to play against, and you have to try and change your game a bit.

“With the more physical lads, it’s a lot more comfortable, because you don’t feel they’re going to run you, it’s more of a battle in the air. I’m looking forward to it.”