Taking away pressure allows Christian Burgess to flourish

Christian Burgess. Picture: Joe Pepler
Christian Burgess. Picture: Joe Pepler
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CHRISTIAN BURGESS has lifted the lid on the mindset behind the impressive start to his Pompey career.

The Blues defender believes taking the pressure out of the expectation to deliver has helped him to perform for Paul Cook’s side.

It’s all about making the correct decisions.

Christian Burgess

Burgess has been a standout for his new side since his summer arrival from Peterborough.

His ability to create from the back has been a key characteristic to his game and his side’s performances.

The 23-year-old feels not placing an undue burden on showing that side of his game, has allowed him to do just that.

Burgess said: ‘The hardest thing is stepping back when you’ve put a header wide, missed a pass or a tackle.

‘You need to focus on your next decision and not do it again.

‘But you can find it can spiral.

‘I’ve felt it in games before and you take a step back and have a breath. You play from there.

‘You have to be patient.

‘Sometimes the obvious play is to do something a bit special and drive out when it’s not on.

‘It’s all about making the correct decisions.

‘Sometimes a simple pass to Ben Davies or a little one into Nigel is the best decision.

‘It’s about getting the majority of those right and getting consistency.’

Burgess is now the only Pompey player to have played every minute of every league game so far this season.

The former Middlesbrough man hit the ground running in the opening-day win over Dagenham & Redbridge.

He reckons that has provided his confidence with a shot in the arm and given him a platform to go out and perform.

Burgess said: ‘I’ve been okay so far.

‘Maybe I’ve been a little bit up and down, but it’s not gone too badly really all told.

‘I picked up plenty of confidence from the first game against Dagenham.

‘I thought I dominated that game and played well.

‘It’s important to keep confident and believing in your abilities.

‘To keep making the correct decisions is important, too.

‘Sometimes if your confidence drops you start making rash decisions.

‘You feel you have to show people what a good player you are.

‘It’s easy to fall into that trap.’

Burgess gave an insight into his relationship with Pompey boss Cook and how they have worked since he arrived at the club.

He explained there is no demands placed on him by Cook when it comes to adding creativity to his side.

Burgess is given the freedom to express himself by the Pompey boss – when he feels the time is right.

He said: ‘The manager doesn’t put pressure on me.

‘But he’ll say if I want to drive on then drive on and Nigel (Atangana) or whoever can sit in. But, at the same time, he won’t force you.

‘You might hear the odd thing on the sidelines but you play what’s in front of you.

‘You’re on the pitch to do a job and have to work it out.’