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Don't look in the past, warns Burnley skipper
CLARETS captain Chris McCann says the club must leave promotion memories in the past if they are to have a successful future.
Burnley have been trying to rebuild for another shot at the Premier League ever since relegation in 2010, but have struggled to sustain their challenge over the last two years.
The squad has undergone an overhaul under Eddie Howe, with only four of that play-off winning side still part of the current crop, including midfielder McCann.
The Dubliner believes the new-look squad is capable of mirroring the achievements of the class of 2009, but fears the weight of expectation is hindering their chances and appealed to fans to give the players time to grow together.
“Personally, I think a lot of people are still too hung up a little bit on the promotion year, and still try to compare us to that,” he said.
“They feel as if that’s where we belong.
“That’s been and gone and people need to get behind us now.
“We’re a new breed and the players coming through and we need the support because although the fans want to be there (in the Premier League), we want to be there just as bad.”
Since Howe was appointed halfway through Burnley’s first season back in the Championship, he has brought in a clutch of young players including Charlie Austin, Marvin Bartley and Danny Ings.
None had previously played higher than League One level, but all went on to show signs of fulfilling their potential, with Austin scoring 17 goals despite missing three weeks with a dislocated shoulder.
McCann is confident they can all kick on again.
“Now that we’ve got a full season under our belt together, we have no real excuses not to come back and have a right go,” said the 24-year-old, who feels the fans’ backing is key. “It’s not going to happen overnight.
“You can’t flick a switch and you’ll be back challenging in the Premier League.
“People have to bear with us, and as I said all last season, be patient, let us grow into our roles and allow us time.
“We’re a young bunch of lads who are ambitious and want to be back there as much as anybody else, but it does take time, and it’s going to take us a little bit of time.
“Last season we did put in some good performances and showed that we are capable of being in the top six, but we just weren’t consistent enough to keep ourselves there. It didn’t happen last season but it could happen next season. We can come back next year and have a right go.”