KIERAN Trippier has described joining Burnley as the best decision of his career, and has credited his current and last manager for their part in his progression.
The right back is among the leading assist makers in the Championship with 14 so far this season. But he has backed up those impressive attacking statistics with his efforts at the other end, playing his part in 12 clean sheets to keep the second placed Clarets in the promotion hunt with the second meanest defence in the division.
He has thanked former boss Eddie Howe, whose Bournemouth side Burnley face today, for showing the faith to sign him from Manchester City.
And the former England Under 21 international has praised current boss Sean Dyche for taking his, and the team’s, game on to another level.
“When I first came here, I just that defensively I let myself down a hell of a lot. I was caught out too many times,” said Trippier, who signed permanently in January 2013 after a successful loan spell.
“But I thank Eddie for believing in me and I couldn’t have made a better decision in my career.
“When I first came here, he put a lot of trust in me and made me a proper attacking full-back. He helped me a lot.
“When he was here he did a lot with me and I’ll always have a lot of respect for him and Jason Tindall.
“On the flip side I got caught too many times defensively when he was here. I’m not blaming him but when the manager came in, he realised that and sat me down, talked to me and took it out on the training ground.
“Before the gaffer came in we were conceding so many goals, so this (12 clean sheets) shows how much work he's done with us on the training field and we're taking it into games. It’s no surprise we're getting the clean sheets as we’re a good defensive unit.
“He hasn’t stopped us from attacking but he’s put a lot of work in on the defensive side. He's done an unbelievable job.”
Despite their defensive prowess, it is the 40-goal partnership of Sam Vokes and Danny Ings that has gained the most widespread recognition, but Trippier insists he doesn’t mind.
“As defenders we’re not really fussed. Vokesy and Ingsy really deserve the headlines because of all the goals they've scored,” said the 23-year-old.
“We just try and play our part in keeping the ball out of our net. We’re just happy at what we’re doing and the staff let us know that. They know how far we’ve come.”