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Kieran Trippier backs Burnley to be the Championship's surprise package
KIERAN Trippier has backed Burnley to be the surprise package of the Championship this season, just like they were in 2008/09.
The Clarets are well outside the bookmakers’ favourites for promotion to the Premier League after losing regular first team figures such as Lee Grant, Chris McCann and Martin Paterson in the summer, while 28-goal top scorer Charlie Austin was sold to league rivals QPR just two days before the campaign began.
But Trippier believes their recruitment drive – including a complete overhaul of the goalkeeping department – has been a success, with manager Sean Dyche signing quality and the right characters to add strength to a small squad.
And the right back admits he has no problem with being underestimated this season, because it acts as an extra incentive to prove their doubters wrong.
“There’s been a massive change with Granty going and Chris and a few others,” said Trippier.
“It’s a bit different with new players coming in.
“But there are some top lads like Heats (Tom Heaton).
“Teams might underestimate us but I think we’ll give some teams a big shock this year because you can’t underestimate anybody.
“It’s going to be an exciting season.”
Trippier, 22, is confident of a successful one too, on the strength of the intense training ground work done in a full summer with Sean Dyche which he feels has been key in hitting form straight away.
Dyche came in partway through last season following Eddie Howe’s return to Bournemouth.
Trippier admits it was probably tough for the new boss to stamp his authority on the team, until now. Burnley go into Saturday’s first meeting with Yeovil Town, at Turf Moor, boasting an unbeaten start to the season from three league and cup games.
“It’s the first pre-season that manager’s had with us, he’s done his thing and everyone’s looking fit and sharp,” said the former Manchester City stopper.
“I bet it was hard for him when he first came in.
“He wanted to do his own thing and improve us defensively because that’s what we struggled with last year.
“He tightened everything up. But I bet it’s been good for him to get his first pre-season under his belt with the players.
“To go away to Ireland especially was good.
“We all know what he wants and expects and where we want to be as a team and as the manager himself.
“We want to be in the play-offs.
“Now that we’ve bonded as a team and the manager’s had his first pre-season he’s got to know us a bit more after spending five nights all away together he’s got a great understanding of us and what we can achieve.”
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