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Keeper desperate for win on return to Hillsborough
CLARETS goalkeeper Lee Grant is targeting a winning return on his first trip back to Hillsborough since leaving the Owls for Turf Moor in 2010.
The 29-year-old has been one of the key performers for Burnley this season and admits he is relishing the chance to return to his old stomping ground.
And although Grant wants his old team to stay in the Championship this season – Wednesday are currently three points clear of the drop zone – he doesn’t want that to come at the expense of three points for the Clarets this afternoon.
“It will be my first time back there, so it’s a bit of a big one for me really but one that I’m really looking forward to and one that I’m desperate to get a win from so I can enjoy it that little bit more,” said Grant.
“It means a lot to me, Hillsborough. I really enjoyed my spell there and I’m really looking forward to going back.
“Obviously I’ll enjoy it a lot more if we come away with the points.”
Grant, who played 136 games in a row for Wednesday, including two wins over Burnley in the Clarets 2008-09 promotion season, believes Wednesday have enough to keep their heads above water this term.
But the former England under-21 keeper admits he is focussing more on his current club than catching up with old friends.
Grant added: “Obviously I want to see them do well and stay up this season and I think they've got everything in place to do that; the chairman, I think they've got the right manager, they've got some really, really good players – a totally different set of players from when I was there.
“For us it's an important game because it's one we need to win.
“These are the types of games we need to really stamp our authority in and show them what we're all about because they're below us in the division so we need to impose our game upon them.
“I've got friends there still, more so behind the scenes because in terms of the playing staff the turnaround has been huge since I've been there.
“There are a few fans I still keep in contact with, and guys behind the scenes like the kit man and the secretaries.
“It will be nice to go and see them and to just experience the place again because I haven't been back since I left.”
Burnley will be without leading scorer Charlie Austin for the trip to Yorkshire with Sam Vokes and Martin Paterson competing to replace him.
And Grant believes both can bring something different to the side.
He said: “Vokesy comes on and puts a shift in every time, in both boxes. He's fantastic defensively, at set pieces. He wins probably 95 per cent of the balls that come up to him.
“As a side I think if we can understand a little bit more what he's about as well and understand that he's more than likely to win things and try to get up and around him it will help us because he does great for us up there.
“He may have a chance now.
“Obviously Pato's up there as well and we all want Pato to do really well and keep working hard, which he is doing.”
Grant added that Vokes will be ready to take his chance if and when he is called upon.
“It is difficult for a player – especially someone who's quite experienced,” said Grant of watching a patient Vokes wait for a starting spot. “Even though he's a young player he's got a lot of experience.
“It would be easy for a player like that to find things difficult and find it hard to motivate himself daily, but he doesn't do that.
“He works hard all the time and he might get his chance now.”
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