ROSS Wallace has revealed he knew that Burnley were destined for big things under manager Sean Dyche.
And the fit-again winger is eager for the chance to have his say in a potential promotion season.
Wallace was sidelined from mid-August after investigations into a knee complaint revealed that surgery was the only solution.
It was a cruel blow for the Scot just three league games into the new campaign.
But as Burnley go into the final 14 fixtures of 2013/14, starting with Saturday’s crucial top three clash with Derby County, the former Sunderland, Celtic and Preston wide man is ready to play his part in what he feels will be a pivotal push.
The Clarets have been the Championship’s surprise package this season, having stayed in the top three since September.
But Wallace insists that their promotion prospects did not come as a shock to him.
“I knew that big things were going to happen. You just get that feeling with both the manager and this group of players,” said the 28-year-old, who signed a contract extension last season, taking him through to the summer of 2015.
While Dyche has spent little on signings, Wallace feels the Burnley boss still acted smartly in the summer transfer window.
“He brought in good quality, the likes of David Jones, Michael Kightly and Tom Heaton, so we had a nice, small, strong group and that’s why I was looking forward to this season,” he said.
It has meant increased competition for places, with Scott Arfield and on-loan Kightly currently keeping Wallace waiting in the wings, along with fellow wide man Keith Treacy.
“We’ve got real quality in this area”, he said.
“Keith has been doing really well when he’s come in. Kights and Scott have got the shirt now, though, so it’s up to us to get it off them.”
But Wallace knows it will not be easy, given that Burnley are unbeaten in 10 games and manager Dyche has not changed his starting line-up for the last six.
“I think there are three key ingredients about this group. The manager gets the best out of every player,” he said.
“Then, given the quality of the players we’ve got and the togetherness within the squad, it makes up a perfect combination.”