Season Preview: Burnley

Last updated : 12 August 2009 By Tony Scholes

How did you fare last season?
Beyond everyone's hopes and dreams. With one of the smallest budgets in the Championship we could have nothing more than cautious optimism at the start of the season. To get to the play-offs was incredible, to win it is still something we are trying to take in.

How do you expect you'll do this season?
If I'm being honest I don't expect us to win the Premier League or even finish in the Champions League places. It is hard to determine but realistically I have to believe it will be a tough season with a battle towards the bottom end of the table. Finishing in 17th place would be something I'd take now, but I do have strong belief that we can do well.

What have you done in the transfer market this summer? Which of your new signings are you expecting most from?
We're not finished as yet in the transfer market, but what we have done is bring in some younger players who can be improved. It is what we can afford and our only major outlay has been the £3million spent on Steven Fletcher.

Where do you think you'll need to strengthen in the January transfer window?
It's a long term thing with us and we are building up the club. I'm sure we'll need new bodies in January but time will tell in which positions the money will need to be spent.

Have you any promising youngsters breaking into the team?
A lot of them to be honest. We have the youngest squad in the Premier League. We've just given five apprentices their first professional deals and we've already got Jay Rodriguez, at 19, featuring regularly in the first team squad.

Other young players have been signed including Fernando Guerrero from Ecuador - he could just be a star.

Have you got the right man in charge of the team? Will he still be there at the end of the season?
Yes and Yes, and I don't think there is any need to expand although I will. It might not have reached Hull but Owen Coyle is actually God. We've seen banners at Wrestlemania and at Ricky Hatton's last fight in Vegas. Coyle plays it down, but he knows he's God really.

Is the club being run well? Are you likely to be singing 'Sack the board' any time soon?
Getting our club anywhere near the Premier League, even keeping it in the Championship is beyond anything we should expect. It has to be run well and there will be no cries from the Burnley crowd for the removal of our board under chairman Barry Kilby.

Which team do you most want to beat and why?
Blackburn Rovers, and that didn't take much answering. They are our closest rivals and a win against them is well overdue. Two wins against them would be even better.

Who do you think will win the league?
If not us, and probably it won't, I think it might be Chelsea this season.

Who do you think's going down?
Portsmouth, Hull and Bolton.

How do you think Hull City will fare this season?
I've already said it, I think after the narrow escape last time Hull could very well be relegated this season.

Tony Scholes is editor of Clarets Mad