Ahead of the mustiest must-win game since our last one, we spoke to a couple of Burnley fans making the trip up on Saturday, to get their perspective on relegation and Eddie Howe. Oh and Jeff Hendrick…

Sum up your season so far. What expectations did you have in August?

We expected that we would stay up, having been in the Premier League for a few seasons now and having a manager who knows how to keep us there. Think we could have done with a couple more quality signings, but we’re keeping the faith. We started the season expecting not to be relegated. We’ve drawn a lot of games and need to start picking up points if we’re to be out of danger. We’re scoring more than usual but conceding more than usual. Cornet is going to make a difference to this. Sum up the season so far? Just Burnley!

Do you still have faith in Dyche? Or is time for a new perspective? Steve Bruce is available after all…

Dyche is doing a good job with what he has to work with. He knows the club well and is still the fans’ choice. The Royal Dyche pub near Turf Moor wouldn’t want to be changing their pub name!!! The Royal Bruce doesn’t have the same ring to it! That’s not the only reason we wouldn’t want Bruce. Can’t think of any other manager who would be able to do what Dyche does on the club’s budget.

Are you happy with your new(ish) owners? The takeover doesn’t seem to have changed very much from the outside.

It has changed things. They have spent some money and improved the scouting system so we’re now looking further afield for players – Cornet being a good example of this – not 30 year olds from Stoke!

We’ve had a takeover of our own. You might have heard about it… What’s your view on the Saudi investment as a fan of another club?

Happy for money to be invested in a club that isn’t one of the big 6 and that might cause some agitation in the top spots. Might mean that Newcastle can bring a challenge to those clubs with big budgets. Not happy that the investment is from a country with such appalling human rights.

The recent fan-led review has proposed pretty far-reaching reforms of football governance. Do you welcome the recommendations of the Crouch report?

I’m not sure how well the recommendations will work or what appetite there is for them in some quarters, but I agree with the broad principles.

What do you think should have happened to the clubs involved in the European Super League?

I think they should have been fined with a big points deduction which would have made the Premier League more entertaining – would have been like the Championship  on steroids. Carnage! The Championships is so unpredictable – probably a better league for the fans.

Burnley are the only club wor Eddie had previously managed apart from Bournemouth. How’s that spell regarded by Burnley fans?  

He couldn’t hack it up North so surprised he’s gone to Newcastle! He was homesick being so far away from home, hence why he moved on to Bournemouth. In football terms pretty average – although he made some decent signings in Mee, Ings, and Trippier. Although Howe made the signings, it was really Dyche who developed them as players.

Is Jeff Hendrick really as shit as he seems?

Oh aye!

There’s lots of talk about us targeting Tarkowski for a move in January? Do you think he would consider leaving?

He would consider leaving, although I don’t think we would sell unless it was stupid money, and we wouldn’t sell to a relegation rival. Suppose it depends if he’d be happy to play in the Championship! Either way, he might end up there! He’s out of contract at the end of the season which might make a difference.

We’ve had some terrible experiences in the away end at Turf Moor with crushing and non-existent policing/ stewarding. Is that common?

Don’t know – never sat in the away end!

Do Burnley have any plans to introduce safe standing?

Not sure what the position is at board level. Being sat down really affects the atmosphere – standing up all the way!

Have you been to St James’ before? How do you rate it as an away day?

Good away day – great city. Away fans are sat in the clouds so the view isn’t great. Last time we were there, Mike Ashley was the owner, so not sure if there’ll be more atmosphere this time. A strong  8/10

Do you think you’ll stay up?

Yes. We’re keeping the faith! Dyche knows the league and has been here many times before. We always start the season off poorly and then turn it round after Christmas.

Who’s the Burnley dangerman for us to watch?

Maxwel Cornet. 5 goals in 8 starts. But for him, we’d be rock bottom. He offers us something completely different to the usual type of Burnley player.

And the weak link for us to target?

You’ll find out on Saturday!

Prediction for Saturday?

1-0 Burnley – Cornet to score– UTC! [Up the Clarets, ed]

And three clubs to go down…? 

Newcastle, Norwich, Watford.


Tom and James Claret