Tuesday 28 January 2020

Taylor: We'll prove doubters wrong

Matt Taylor thinks Burnley have more quality than they are being given credit for
Matt Taylor thinks Burnley have more quality than they are being given credit for

M att Taylor has backed Burnley to be the surprise package of the Barclays Premier League season.

The Clarets upset the odds to secure promotion from the Championship and go into only their second top-flight campaign in 38 years as big outsiders.

Taylor is one of the few players in the squad with a lot of Premier League experience, having joined the club from West Ham last month.

And the 32-year-old feels Burnley have all the ingredients to prove the doom-mongers wrong.

"I remember coming up into the Premier League with Portsmouth 11 or 12 years ago and it's a fantastic feeling," said Taylor.

"As a club there's not really any pressure on us. We're going to be underdogs going into most games, everybody's going to have written us off before we've kicked a ball, but I know from personal experience that counts for nothing.

"We can go out and implement our passing style and our game on teams and I don't see why we're going to have a problem this season.

"Obviously I'm under no illusions that it's going to be extremely difficult but I think we might surprise a few people."

Taylor is one of six new signings hoping to make their debuts in Monday's season opener against Chelsea at Turf Moor.

Steven Reid and Michael Kightly also have Premier League experience, while striker Lukas Jutkiewicz has scored six goals in pre-season since moving from Middlesbrough.

Much has been made of the togetherness within the squad fostered by manager Sean Dyche but Taylor thinks they also deserve to be recognised for their quality.

He said: "There's a great camaraderie but we've also got some really good footballers and I think sometimes that gets overlooked slightly - it's little old Burnley and they've got a great work ethic but they don't really have any ability.

"Well what we have got is really good footballers, and if we can couple that together with a fantastic energy and a togetherness, like the lads did last season, there's no reason why we can't have a successful year."

Taylor played down his off-field role but did have one piece of advice for his younger colleagues - enjoy it.

"A lot of the younger guys here have played at international level and they know what it's about," he said. "I don't think it will be a huge difference. It might be slightly louder at Turf Moor.

"It's just a fantastic experience and what you don't want to do is let it all pass you by. You want to succeed during the experience and play well but hopefully create some wonderful memories along the way."

Leading out the team in front of the TV cameras on Monday night will be captain Jason Shackell, who previously played in the Premier League with Norwich.

The defender said: " We know it's a big challenge but it's one we're excited about.

"It's gone pretty quick. It only feels like yesterday we were celebrating getting up, and now we're a couple of days from getting going.

"It's been fun. We've given ourselves the opportunity of playing against some of the best players in the world so, although we know it's going to be tough, it's something we're really looking forward to."

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