A SUPPORTER clutched the microphone at the Boundary Clarets 'Meet the Manager' function and addressed Chris Waddle and Glenn Roeder, writes TONY DEWHURST.

"I've had to pinch myself every morning when I wake up to make sure it is really happening," he said.

"Chris Waddle as manager of Burnley and an England coach as his assistant. It is like a dream for many fans. Those sort of things don't happen at Turf Moor."

It was a spontaneous gesture which captured the invigorating mood at Turf Moor on the eve of the Division Two curtain raiser at Watford.

A new era dawns at Vicarage Road tomorrow and never before have I seen Burnley fans so expectant in a belief that their club can finally be awoken from its slumber.

Over 3,000 of them are expected to witness Waddle's league debut for the Clarets, testimony, surely, to how Waddle's appointment has sparked such fervour in the town.

Burnley will lock horns with a Watford team now managed by former England boss Graham Taylor and with several new additions to the side beaten 4-1 at Turf Moor on the final day of last season.

Fresh arrivals at Vicarge Road include Jason Lee from Nottingham Forest, Peter Kennedy from Notts County and Micah Hyde, a £250,000 capture from Cambridge United.

The main departure was goalkeeper Kevin MIller to Crystal Palace, Kevin Phillips to Sunderland and David Connolly to crack Dutch side Feyenoord.

Watford, like Burnley, looked odds on to claim a play-off place until a late slump in form.

And Burnley will have to combat Watford's physical approach and route one style if they are to succeed.

Yet the Clarets should fear nobody. You sense there is a restored professionalism coursing through Turf Moor and the despair which accompanied Adrian Heath's departure to Everton has been replaced by a flaming optimism. There can no doubt that Waddle and Roeder have already made a gigantic impression.

I believe the Second Division will be a far tougher proposition than last season.

Yet Burnley are better prepared for the challenge ahead after several astute signings.

Roeder's observations at Monday's forum left nobody in any doubt what is expected from Burnley's squad this season.

"We can't fault any of the Burnley players as people," he observed.

"They are a lovely bunch of lads but they are probably a bit too nice.

"As soon as they go over that white line then they have to get a bit more nasty.

"We are nice seconds at the moment - we have got to become nasty firsts.

"It might sound a bit callous but you can't have it both ways.

"We either want to be winners or we don't.

"Since we've come here we've knocked a few chips off certain shoulders. One or two people were going around saying: "I play for Burnley."

I replied: "So what, just what did you achieve last season? That is the bottom line.

"We need brave people at Burnley and 11 captains out on the field.

"That doesn't mean players diving into kamikazi tackles or kicking everything that moves.

"It means bravery, passion, belief and spirit. It means wanting the ball again seconds after you've made a bad pass.

"That is the type of player we want at Burnley.

"I say to players that while I'm still moaning at them then they've got half a chance.

"When I stop moaning then they are history."

Waddle and Roeder's signings have captured the imagination.

Mark Ford, Steve Blatherwick and Michael Willams all have Premiership experience while reserve goalkeeper Chris Woods, who has played at the highest international level, will offer valued experience.

"I can't believe, for instance, that we got Michael Williams on a free transfer," added Roeder.

"Mark Ford is a winner and Steve Blatherwick is another individual who is very enthusiastic and aggressive.

"Let's be fair, he is one ugly son. If you were a number nine playing against him and you looked in his eyes then you would run a mile.

"The real test is at Watford tomorrow. We can't promise success this season but we will do everything in our power to deliver it and get this club back where it belongs."

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