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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Burley: I can't forget good times

PUBLISHED: 20:01 29 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

GEORGE Burley today looked ahead to the weekend clash with former club Ipswich and promised: "I will be thoroughly professional."

The interim Derby boss will be looking to secure the victory that could boost his chances of taking over at Pride Park on a permanent basis.

GEORGE Burley today looked ahead to the weekend clash with former club Ipswich and promised: "I will be thoroughly professional."

The interim Derby boss will be looking to secure the victory that could boost his chances of taking over at Pride Park on a permanent basis.

He said: "I was hoping that by the time Sunday's game came round that two things would have happened.

"One, that we would be safe. And two, that Ipswich would have already booked their place in the play-offs.

"Sadly, that is not the case for them, but I have achieved what I set out to achieve – to make sure Derby stayed in the First Division."

The Rams won three of their first four games under Burley's leadership, but have since crashed to successive defeats by Watford and Walsall.

The only thing on his mind on Sunday will be to reverse that trend at Town's expense, but he admitted: "You don't lose your feelings overnight.

"Ipswich gave me a great career in football and I will always be thankful for that."

Burley remains in the dark about his Pride Park future, having only agreed to help out following the suspension of manager John Gregory.

He added: "It was short term for both parties. They asked me to help them out – my brief was to make sure they stayed in the First Division.

"They had suffered seven defeats and drawn the other two of their nine games prior to me coming in, but I have enjoyed my time here.

"Derby have a situation to sort out regarding John Gregory and I don't know what is going to happen."

But Burley is keen to return to management as soon as possible and talked in glowing terms about his temporary employers.

He added: "It is a nice club, similar in size to Ipswich. They have a similar support base and a tremendous stadium.

"They are also opening a new training ground in July. It is absolutely fantastic – they have spent £5 million on it.

"The last few weeks at Derby have been very enjoyable. The break after leaving Ipswich did me good and after doing some media work I am ready to get back to being a manager."

Burley, also linked with the vacancy at Fulham, will happily put his credentials on the line against any job rivals.

He added: "I was at Ipswich for almost eight years and in that time we reached the play-offs four times, won promotion to the Premiership and finished fifth in our first season.

"I was Manager of the Year, we had two years in Europe and only lost one of our ten games – at Inter Milan. Crowds also went from 11,000 to 25,000 in my time there.

"I also brought up some of the best players in Britain – Dyer, Wright, Bramble, Scowcroft and Ambrose – and always had to sell at least one player a year to help the club survive.

"People have questioned my buys, but only a couple didn't work out. Ninety per cent of them did."

Despite his obvious affection for the club, Burley remains sore at the circumstances surrounding his departure almost six months ago.

He said: "We were eight points behind the team in sixth place when I was sacked and my record shows we had overcome bad starts to other seasons."

The incentive for Ipswich to put one over their former boss is that victory will ensure they finish seventh and ahead of arch-rivals Norwich.

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