Irish Daily Mirror


Burnley boss Vincent: This season opener is more than a cup final



VINCENT KOMPANY insists a brutal start to Burnley’s Championsh­ip campaign will tell him plenty about whether his side will sink or swim.

The Clarets travel to last season’s play-off finalists Huddersfie­ld tonight against a backdrop of huge turnover with several senior players leaving and being replaced by untested talents.

Dwight Mcneil is the latest to join an exodus which has already seen Nick Pope, James Tarkowski, Nathan Collins and Ben Mee depart.

Kompany insists he is confident not only that more bodies will be brought in before September 1, but that the replacemen­ts he has signed are up to scratch as Burnley try to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

And he believes that Huddersfie­ld followed by the losing play-off semi-finalist Luton then fellow-relegated Watford will vindicate that confidence.

“Everything is geared to the first game now but it also can go both ways,” said Kompany.

“Either it gives us a really good look at the team and where we are at and what we still need to improve or it can say, ‘Do you know what, some of the lads are further on than we thought they were’.”

Burnley added Brazilian defender Vitinho from Belgian top-flight club Cercle Brugge to a growing band of younger and hopefully, hungrier players yesterday.

Kompany is under no illusions about the size of the task of shaping a youthful side into a machine capable of fighting their way out of the toughest division in England.

“If they do what they have done in training don’t get me wrong I am excited to see the team play,” he said.

“The season opener is like a cup final with a huge psychologi­cal element to it as well.”

Kompany has gone into Burnley with eyes wide open and believes any financial constraint­s could have the effect of pushing them down the correct route.

“If you go down, have big wages, expensive players coming in with no resale value, then you know something is happening and it could be the perfect storm if promotion doesn’t happen,” he said. “Those are not the type of deals we have done. The deals done we thought were smart deals.

“Maybe they are not but you can’t fault us for trying.

“We are trying to make deals so we are not exposed to the downside if promotion doesn’t happen.

“If it happens it’s a positive for the club, it’s brilliant and we’re all buzzing. If it doesn’t happen we get a chance to go again and go again.”

Kompany added: “I can’t undo what’s happened. But there’s a great buzz around the place and we need to make sure those players on the pitch grow.”

 ?? ?? THIRSTY WORK Vincent Kompany has a tough test but says he is up to the challenge
THIRSTY WORK Vincent Kompany has a tough test but says he is up to the challenge

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