In-form Dan looking to Burn former club

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

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

“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.

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“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.

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“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.”

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.”