When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Burnley winger: The best is yet to come
MICHAEL Kightly believes his best form is still to come at Burnley – but he is happy he made the right choice by joining the league leaders amid interest from Bolton and other more fancied clubs.
Kightly has started all five league games since arriving at Turf Moor on a season-long loan from Stoke and has helped Burnley to the top of the Championship ahead of today’s home game against Reading.
A number of clubs tried to sign Kightly and had things been different he might have joined Bolton, who were tipped for promotion but now sit second bottom of the table – 18 points behind the Clarets.
The 27-year-old has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Turf Moor so far – linking up with Sean Dyche, who he played under during a loan spell at Watford two years ago.
But Kightly does think he can still improve his performances, after not playing as regularly as he would have liked last season.
“It takes time to get that confidence back,” he said, “I think every footballer is a confidence player. When people say ‘he’s a confidence player’ and ‘he’s a confidence player’, I think that’s rubbish. Every footballer is a confidence player.
“When you’re confident you play better and that’s what I think the gaffer is really good at. He instills confidence in players – not just the ones who are playing but the squad.
“I played a fair few games in the Premier League last year but not as many as I would have liked.
“I wasn’t coming off the bench and things like that, and that does affect your confidence.
“But I’d like to think I’m getting more confident and I know playing in this team under this manager I’ll get more and more confident. Hopefully I’ll get better and better.
“I hadn’t played a competitive game for a while before coming here so it takes six, seven or eight games to get back into it.
“I definitely feel fitter. Hopefully there’s a lot more to come from me.”
Asked if there was a chance he might have joined the Trotters prior to sealing his Burnley move, he admitted: “Possibly yes.
“But it’s not a case of being relieved that I didn’t go anywhere else. It wasn’t about that for me.
“I had a few other options but after working under this manager at Watford and speaking to the lads here that I already knew, there was only one decision for me and that was purely a football decision.
“No disrespect to Burnley, there were probably a few other bigger clubs, but that wasn’t the pull for me.
“The pull was to come here and play under this gaffer, who is arguably one of the best gaffers that I’ve played under, and just come and enjoy it. That’s what I’m doing.”
Kightly remains grateful to Stoke’s former Blackburn Rovers boss Mark Hughes for allowing him to join Burnley.
He said: “I thought I had a fairly good pre-season, I scored a couple of goals and come the first day of the season I thought I might have had a chance of playing and I wasn’t.
“So I just spoke to him and said I’m 27, I want to play games and was it possible to go out on loan?
“He was as good as gold, he said he understood and it was no problem.
“I’ve got no problem with Mark Hughes at all. I enjoyed training under him.”
Comments are closed on this article.