Monday 21 July 2014
Manager: Sean Dyche
Home ground: Turf Moor
Players in: Michael Kightly, Matt Gilks, Marvin Sordell, Matt Taylor, Steven Reid, Lukas Jutkiewicz
First five BPL matches: Chelsea (H), Swansea City (A), Man Utd (H), Crystal Palace (A), Sunderland (H)
An "historic achievement" was how manager Sean Dyche described Burnley's promotion to the Barclays Premier League after a four-year absence with a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic back in April.
One of the teams tipped to struggle in the Championship, the Clarets defied the odds to return to the top flight, losing only five matches all season as they finished second behind champions Leicester City after amassing 93 points.
The strike pairing of Danny Ings and Sam Vokes paved the way for Burnley’s success last season as they scored 41 league goals between them while full-back Kieran Trippier’s impressive displays – he provided 12 assists during the campaign – earned him a place in the Professional Footballers' Association's Championship team of the year for the second season running.
The Clarets were without Vokes for the 2013/14 run-in after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the defeat by Leicester at the end of March but the setback did not affect the team, as they lost only one of their remaining seven matches and sealed automatic promotion with two fixtures to spare.
Dyche, a former Chesterfield and Watford defender who began his playing career as an apprentice at Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, was appointed at Turf Moor in October 2012 after a spell in charge of the Hornets. He led Burnley to 11th place in the Championship before winning promotion last season by using only 22 players throughout the campaign.
He has been busy adding to his squad this summer, with six players such as Steven Reid, Matt Taylor and Marvin Sordell already moving to Turf Moor, while the 43-year-old has joined Trippier and Danny Lafferty in signing new contracts with the club.
Burnley finished in 18th place in the 2009/10 Barclays Premier League season, their one campaign in the competition, ending up five points from safety, despite impressive home victories over Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.
The victories over Man Utd and Everton came in their opening three matches and Clarets fans will be hoping for more of the same in 2014/15 as Chelsea and Man Utd will open Burnley's campaign at Turf Moor.
|Best BPL finish
|Seasons in the BPL
|Most BPL appearances||Jensen/Wade/Mears (38)|
|Top BPL goalscorer||Steven Fletcher (8)|
Hopes for the new season
To survive would be remarkable. Five years ago, Burnley were lacking a little bit of know-how at this level. It is incredibly tough to win any match in the Barclays Premier League, as they found out. They were terrific at home and abysmal away, they took only four points all season, so their away record will have to improve.
In 2009/10 they missed out by five points. Burnley lost both matches against Wigan Athletic and, if they had won either of them, they would have stayed up. Burnley have signed Steven Reid and Matty Taylor, who obviously know the division inside out, and that will be a big plus. Being able to lean on that experience, when you might be in run of three or four matches without a win, will be important.
Last time Burnley were very gung-ho away from home but I think they will be a lot more disciplined this season and they will be harder to beat.
What are Burnley's strengths?
Team unity and togetherness. The team press ever so well and they have good shape without the ball. There's a great togetherness in the squad, they do enjoy each other's company. They will go through brick walls for each other. It's been fostered in the manager's 18 months plus there, they work hard and they reap the rewards.
What does Sean Dyche bring to the club?
There's an honesty to him, he likes the word clarity. He doesn't over complicate things. Dyche doesn't get too high when things are going well and doesn't get too down when they are not. He learnt a lot off Brian Clough when he was a young professional at Nottingham Forest and he is applying those lessons with a modern twist.
There's a lot of respect around the place. People behave in the right manner. There's an element of discipline but he is not a sergeant major by any stretch of the imagination. When he came in he spoke about a 'one-club mentality', about everyone pulling in the same direction, getting the fans on board and it is in pretty good nick.
What matches will the fans be looking forward to?
The one that stands out is Newcastle United away as there are a generation of Burnley fans that have never been to St James' Park. The last time the two clubs met was in the 1982/83 season and when Burnley were last in the top-flight, Newcastle had been relegated.
There are so many matches the fans will look forward to but I know so many Burnley fans who have been to a 100+ grounds watching their club but St James' isn't one of them. The match is on New Year's Day as well so it will be a special day.
Everyone remembers Burnley's first home game last time in the Barclays Premier League, beating Man Utd, who were the champions at the time. This time the first two home games are Chelsea and Manchester United but the mentality is, while Burnley are still buoyant, it will as good a time as any to play them.
Who is the best young talent that BPL fans might see emerge this season?
Burnley have a young right-back called Cameron Dummigan, who is a Northern Ireland youth international and who scored against Manchester City in the semi-finals of the Under-21 Premier League Cup last season.
In front of him he has got Kieran Trippier, who is the best right back in the Championship and who I think will really thrive in the Premier League, so his opportunities could be limited but he has got a big future. He is very similar type of player to Kieran, he likes to get forward, he has got a terrific cross and has a great engine.
Burnley in three words
One. Club. Mentality.
Chris Boden is on Twitter: @bodenknights