Irvine worth his weight in goals

Australia midfielder Jackson Irvine will be a contender for the Championship's signing of the season if Burton Albion can beat the drop.

Jackson Irvine

Jackson Irvine celebrates scoring for Burton Albion Source: Getty Images

The Socceroos midfielder has been worth his weight in goals for the modest Midlands outfit, with his 10 strikes in 35 appearances representing a quarter of the club's entire tally in their debut season in English football's second tier.

They haven't lost a game in which he has scored - and his goal output has been worth 13 points for Nigel Clough's side.

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Take away Irvine's crucial contribution and Burton would be sitting second bottom with seven games left. 

Instead, they are four points clear of the drop zone going into Thursday's (AEST) trip to league leaders Newcastle United.

Hardly renowned as a goalscorer in his time with former club Ross County, Irvine can't quite fathom his emergence as the toast of the Brewers.

But, speaking ahead of the trip to St James's Park, he is planning on more tales of the unexpected.

Fresh from coming off the bench to slide home a 97th minute winner at Huddersfield over the weekend, the 24 year old was in shock at how prolific he has been in front of goal.

"I actually can't quite believe how many I've scored this season, especially considering my record over the years," Irvine said.

"But a lot of that has been down to luck and being in the right place at the right time.

"To pinch it so late against Huddersfield, and the way we went about the game, couldn't have been more perfect.

"Going into a week where we play Newcastle and then a massive home game against Aston Villa, it was a huge three points for us."

Irvine's gut busting effort to score the goal against Huddersfield demonstrated why the Australian has become such an important part of Burton Albion's side.

"Actually, my goal was probably my easiest finish so far, even though I had to run the length of the field to get it," he said.

"The others have come from set pieces, shots from around the box ... it's nice to score all types of goals.

"I'd been dying for a tap-in, to be honest.

"The simplicity for me is that if you're not in the area, you don't get chances and don't score goals."

Having grabbed his maiden Socceroos goal against UAE during the international break, Irvine came on after 62 minutes as Clough choose to ease his weary legs. 

But his irrepressible nature would not be quelled as Burton nailed the ideal preparation for the Magpies match.

"We have a fully fit squad and but it will take another mammoth display to stop them scoring at home," he added.

"But if we execute our plan like we did against Huddersfield then we will be a chance of taking something.

"It's frustrating in a way ... if you'd offered us 44 points from 39 games we'd have bitten your hand off for it, considering 41 kept you up last year.



"Our form since February has been pretty remarkable and it shows just how tough this division is to only be four points (off the relegation places).

"But four of our final six games are at home and hopefully that will be to our advantage.

"We'll need to win two more games to get to that 50-point mark, and should hopefully be enough to keep us safe."


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4 min read
Published 4 April 2017 at 7:23am
By Dave Lewis