CLARETS legend Martin Dobson is the last player to captain Burnley to automatic promotion to the top flight, but says he will happily hand over the honour to Jason Shackell.
The promotion push has rolled on to the Easter weekend after Burnley suffered a second straight home defeat to Middlesbrough on Saturday, allied to Derby’s win over nine-man Huddersfield chopping the gap to second to eight points.
But Dobson feels it is only a matter of time before Burnley get over the line and seal their return to the Premier League.
“It’s one of the best feelings in football, to captain your team to promotion,” said the Rishton-born former midfielder, who won the old Second Division title with the Clarets in 1973.
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“You’ve gone through everything in a season, you’ve come back from goals behind and overcome all kinds of obstacles during the course of nine or 10 months.
“But everyone says you finish where you deserve to at the end of the season.”
Of being the last to captain the Clarets to a top flight return, Dobson added: “I will be gladly passing it on.
“The incentive is there for Burnley, they’re not far away. And they deserve it for the hard work they’ve put in and the goals they’ve scored.
“It’s been entertaining for the fans.”
Dobson, who scouts for Championship leaders Leicester City and is also involved in hospitality for old club Everton, admits it has already been a season to remember, with one of the highlights Burnley’s long-awaited derby win away to bitter rivals Blackburn Rovers.
“The last Burnley game I saw was at Ewood Park, and I was so confident about winning that game.
“Even at 1-0 down I knew that we were going to make chances and said to Mike Phelan and Alistair Campbell, who were both there, that it was going to be 2-1.”
Dobson, 66, added: “For me, with Burnley doing so well, Leicester already promoted and Everton still having a lot to play for it couldn’t have been better.
“It’s just been brilliant to watch all these games.
“Leicester and Burnley have been consistently good right through the season and been focused.
“Both managers, Nigel Pearson and Sean Dyche, have made a point of moving on to the next game.
“It’s a game that kicks you up the backside if you think you’ve done it.
“These two managers have certainly never thought that.”
Dobson has been particularly impressed with Dyche, give the constraints on his budget and squad.
“At the start of every season the manager says they are looking for consistency. You can’t be much more consistent than Burnley have been this season,” he said.
“The work ethic is brilliant. It’s a small squad of players all playing to their true potential. The players have really bonded together as a small unit and been successful.
“They’ve been relying on probably 16 regular players.
“With the demands physically and mentally the manager’s done a brilliant job.”