Goals are the name of the game for on-fire Irvine

Australia midfielder Jackson Irvine has emerged as the country's most lethal export with a surprising run of scoring form.

Fulham v Burton Albion - Sky Bet Championship

Jackson Irvine celebrates after scoring against Fulham Source: CameraSport

The former Celtic, Kilmarnock and Ross County man has gone from bashful to bountiful with four goals in his first five starts as the record signing of promoted Championship side Burton Albion.

Jokingly, he has now warned teammates not to expect many more.

With Burton to face Brighton and Hove Albion at home on Sunday (AEST), Irvine, who returned from international duty for Australia to score in the 1-1 midweek draw at Fulham, quipped: “I’ve already got my quota for the season now, and have told the boys that’s maybe my lot!

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“I scored three in 45 games last year and now I have scored four in five ... so things are moving the right way.

“I am certainly getting forward and have the freedom to make more runs into the box.

"So I am getting into dangerous area at every opportunity in the system we play and its suiting me so far."

While Irvine, who started at right-back and then switched to right-wing before finishing in midfield at Craven Cottage for Nigel Cough’s depleted side, is not be a national born scorer, he is managing a decent impersonation.



Arriving Frank Lampard-like late into the area is emerging as his forte at Burton, where Clough’s confidence in him as the team's record capture has instilled a deeper belief.

Called up for back-to-back Australia squads for the first time for the recent wins over Iraq and UAE, Irvine, 23, is aiming to make himself part of the furniture in Postecoglou's pecking order.

“I have been in and out over the years and my target is to be a part of the bigger picture going forward now and going to a World Cup and competing well there,” he said.

“It's not easy as our midfield is stacked with talent … super players like Massimo Luongo, Tom Rogic and Aaron Mooy, and there are others like Mustafa Amini and James Jeggo who are doing well in Europe and haven’t had their chance with the Socceroos yet.

“It’s great to beat part of the national team at this time and you just want to play any role you can.”

Irvine’s progression since leaving Celtic, where he was unable to make the breakthrough, has been rapid.

“It’s been a good 12 months or so for me, going from Celtic to a club that did great things for me and helped me push forward (in Ross County).

“Then getting the move down here where things couldn't have gone much better both individually and also as a team.

"We haven’t lost in five games and everybody had us written off as relegation favourites.

“But we have been playing with no fear, going away from home and attacking and scoring goals.

"We will not be a team that simply tries to scrape results and fight for our lives."

Burton lie 15th in the Championship with nine points after seven rounds and Irvine is enjoying the expectation heaped upon him.

"Nigel Clough has taken a lot of the pressure of being our record signing off me," he added.

“He just asks us to go out there and have a real go, and that’s what we’ve been doing.

"We have quickly found out that we have nothing to fear in this league.”


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3 min read
Published 16 September 2016 at 9:10pm
By Dave Lewis