Turf Moor the best place for Clarets to go up says Unsworth

Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche

First published in Football Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Burnley FC reporter

PROMOTION at Turf Moor would be the “perfect way to mark the perfect season”, says ex-Claret David Unsworth, adding that Burnley’s seemingly imminent top flight return is “brilliant for football”.

With Sean Dyche’s side on the brink of promotion and Wigan closing in on a play-off place Unsworth, who played for both clubs, feels he is in a win-win situation for today’s Easter Monday head-to-head.

And while he knows the Latics will not make it easy for Burnley to cross the line today, he expects the Clarets to have enough to clinch a top flight return.

And the 40-year-old could not think of a better place to confirm their Premier League place than Turf Moor.

“I’m actually delighted they didn’t do it at Blackpool because to go up at your home ground means more, to me. It’s more special,” said Unsworth, who says the Clarets deserve to have promotion on their own terms, rather than relying on favours from elsewhere.

“I got promoted from the Championship to the Premier League with Sheffield United and we went up through Reading beating Leeds United. We went up when we didn’t even play and it was strange,” he added.

“The lads were all together at the training ground and we were sat there watching Sky Sports and Jeff Stelling.

“Reading won and we went up through that result.

“It was great – it was fantastic! But to hopefully get the result that takes Burnley back up, that’s what you want as a player.

“And for everyone to be a part of it, that’s just terrific – not just the players and management but the club staff, the youth players will all be there, all the fans – it’s just perfect. It’s been a perfect season.”

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Unsworth feels it will be am occasion better than the Clarets play-off success in 2008/09, when a Wade Elliott goal was enough to beat another of his former clubs, the Blades.

“Don’t get me wrong, Owen Coyle and his team that year did a good job, but the play-offs are a lottery – once you get there it’s like a cup competition almost,” said Unsworth.

“For Burnley to get automatic promotion this year is a bigger achievement than five years ago.”

But similarly to that play-off winning season, Unsworth says the Clarets will have defied modern day football logic and put the small-town club back on the map.

“The story of Burnley is brilliant for football. It’s what players dream about. It’s what coaches and managers dream about – the team that has no right financially to win actually defies the odds and gets promoted,” he added.

“That’s why we are all in football.

“These are the happenings that nobody can ever predict, and as a Burnley fan this year you’ve lived the dream.”

But he knows that FA Cup semi-finalists Wigan will not be a pushover in Burnley’s bid to secure that second automatic promotion slot today.

“Wigan won’t make it easy, they are a good team and a team I know a lot about because we’ve a player there on loan from Everton,” said the former Everton defender, who returned to Goodison Park this season as youth team coach.

“I know Uwe Rosler very well, and his coaching staff having been there as a player. They’re on a great run and I fancy them to go up in the play-offs.

“They won’t be gung-ho or end-to-end. They’ll look to have a lot of possession and it might be a game where Burnley hit them on the counter attack.

“From what I’ve seen of Wigan this season Burnley will have to be patient and bide their time because they are a threat.

“But the occasion will probably be too much for Wigan.

“I’ve got great affection for both clubs so for Burnley to go up automatically and Wigan in the play-offs, I can’t lose, and it would be great to see.”

While Sean Dyche is being tipped for the manager of the year prize, Unsworth credits an all-round team effort.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the job that everyone has done,” he said.

“I’m not going to single anyone out, it’s been a massive team effort and it’s great to see.

“It’s been a brilliant all-round club performance – from the manager to the players to the fans to the boardroom. What they’ve done is terrific.

“I can’t wait to see Burnley at Goodison Park next season.”

Comments (6)

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10:22am Mon 21 Apr 14

Sue Lee says...

But not on Sky!?
But not on Sky!? Sue Lee
  • Score: 1

10:59am Mon 21 Apr 14

Elysiumfire says...

As a Claret's fan, I think the only way Burnley are going to gain promotion today is if Derby fail against Barnsley, which is highly unlikely! Burnley will not beat Wigan today who will want to consolidate their play off position.

Wigan would have to not turn up for Burnley to win, and it would help if they extended Wigan's goal mouth by about 10 feet in either direction considering the way Burnley have not been able to score most of the chances they have created. Each game now brings a frustration and concern.

Beating Wigan today would inject a massive boost of confidence as well as finally gaining the promotion, which in my book, should already have been attained. However, my intuited feeling tells me that Derby will pick up 3 points at Barnsley, and Wigan will pick up 3 points at the Turf.

I feel Burnley will finally achieve their promotion against Ipswich this coming Saturday, and that, too, is a home game, and so home celebrations can be enjoyed, and most workers will have been paid on Friday.

Of course, I'd be just as happy to take promotion today, but I can't see it happening.
As a Claret's fan, I think the only way Burnley are going to gain promotion today is if Derby fail against Barnsley, which is highly unlikely! Burnley will not beat Wigan today who will want to consolidate their play off position. Wigan would have to not turn up for Burnley to win, and it would help if they extended Wigan's goal mouth by about 10 feet in either direction considering the way Burnley have not been able to score most of the chances they have created. Each game now brings a frustration and concern. Beating Wigan today would inject a massive boost of confidence as well as finally gaining the promotion, which in my book, should already have been attained. However, my intuited feeling tells me that Derby will pick up 3 points at Barnsley, and Wigan will pick up 3 points at the Turf. I feel Burnley will finally achieve their promotion against Ipswich this coming Saturday, and that, too, is a home game, and so home celebrations can be enjoyed, and most workers will have been paid on Friday. Of course, I'd be just as happy to take promotion today, but I can't see it happening. Elysiumfire
  • Score: -6

12:54pm Mon 21 Apr 14

crankitup says...

i don't often comment on Burnley articles but i would like to take this opportunity to say good luck for today....you're going up without a doubt whether it be today or not and you well and truly deserve it, you played well all season and even when the odds were stacked against you you ground out a result, SD is a very good manager and you have assembled a good squad so this is your chance, grab it by the scruff of the neck and run with it.

yes you were promoted before but this time i feel you're ready, keep hold of the players that do it for you and cut the fat and you'll stay up...

it pains me to say this as a Rovers fan, but credit where credit's due you have played out of your socks this season and as a football fan i wish you well, i do think you'll need a bit more investment but with the money from being promoted i think that should be made available to SD.

i know this post will probably attract some comments sl*gging me off but don't care...i hope you do it in front of your home crowd because there's no better way to celebrate promotion....anyway enough papping on....Good luck
i don't often comment on Burnley articles but i would like to take this opportunity to say good luck for today....you're going up without a doubt whether it be today or not and you well and truly deserve it, you played well all season and even when the odds were stacked against you you ground out a result, SD is a very good manager and you have assembled a good squad so this is your chance, grab it by the scruff of the neck and run with it. yes you were promoted before but this time i feel you're ready, keep hold of the players that do it for you and cut the fat and you'll stay up... it pains me to say this as a Rovers fan, but credit where credit's due you have played out of your socks this season and as a football fan i wish you well, i do think you'll need a bit more investment but with the money from being promoted i think that should be made available to SD. i know this post will probably attract some comments sl*gging me off but don't care...i hope you do it in front of your home crowd because there's no better way to celebrate promotion....anyway enough papping on....Good luck crankitup
  • Score: 7

1:38pm Mon 21 Apr 14

alan7554 says...

well crankitup as a clarets fan since 1965 it has been my lot to see the clarets many ups and downs, mainly in th 70's but there is banter and just pettyness i feel sorry for all rovers fans for the way your proud club has been dragged down to the pits. i hope next season you crack it and keep the best derbies in any league continue cheers pal
well crankitup as a clarets fan since 1965 it has been my lot to see the clarets many ups and downs, mainly in th 70's but there is banter and just pettyness i feel sorry for all rovers fans for the way your proud club has been dragged down to the pits. i hope next season you crack it and keep the best derbies in any league continue cheers pal alan7554
  • Score: 4

1:58pm Mon 21 Apr 14

crankitup says...

alan7554 wrote:
well crankitup as a clarets fan since 1965 it has been my lot to see the clarets many ups and downs, mainly in th 70's but there is banter and just pettyness i feel sorry for all rovers fans for the way your proud club has been dragged down to the pits. i hope next season you crack it and keep the best derbies in any league continue cheers pal
Thanks Alan....all the best
[quote][p][bold]alan7554[/bold] wrote: well crankitup as a clarets fan since 1965 it has been my lot to see the clarets many ups and downs, mainly in th 70's but there is banter and just pettyness i feel sorry for all rovers fans for the way your proud club has been dragged down to the pits. i hope next season you crack it and keep the best derbies in any league continue cheers pal[/p][/quote]Thanks Alan....all the best crankitup
  • Score: 3

3:57pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Elysiumfire says...

Well, I am happy to swallow my previous words. Wigan playing against their recent form look to be in jitters and self-destruct mode.
On the other hand, Burnley seem to have regained their composure and self-discipline, especially in front of goal.
Barnes is not doing his usual slapstick routine of falling over and took his goal superbly. Then Kightly steps up to a free kick and puts it in the back of the net surprising everyone.
Half time, Burnley 2 - Wigan 0.
Well, I am happy to swallow my previous words. Wigan playing against their recent form look to be in jitters and self-destruct mode. On the other hand, Burnley seem to have regained their composure and self-discipline, especially in front of goal. Barnes is not doing his usual slapstick routine of falling over and took his goal superbly. Then Kightly steps up to a free kick and puts it in the back of the net surprising everyone. Half time, Burnley 2 - Wigan 0. Elysiumfire
  • Score: 0

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