CLARETS reporter Tyrone Marshall discusses the talking points from Burnley's Europa League play-off round second leg with Olympiakos.


This was a night to be proud of for Burnley. The Clarets went out of Europe, but they didn’t exit without a fight.

We could quite easily have been talking about one of Turf Moor’s most famous nights had Burnley taken some of the chances that came and went.

Instead it was glorious failure for Sean Dyche’s side. The restructuring of the Europa League this season meant they had to progress through three qualifying to reach the group stage. It was always going to be a tough ask.

The draw did Burnley no favours either. In every round they were handed one of the toughest ties they could have had.

There will be snipes from some quarters at failing to make the group stage, but just reaching Europe was an achievement for this side, and they did themselves proud while they were in the competition.


What a night for Dwight McNeil. The European campaign began with a half-hour cameo against Aberdeen, but Thursday was the night he announced himself to a wider audience.

McNeil recovered from an early lapse to become a key man from the Clarets, taking on set-piece responsibility and coming close to scoring in the second half.

Academy staff at Burnley have long been convinced they have a Premier League player in the making on their hands.

With Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady sidelined at the moment, McNeil may get the chance to prove them right sooner rather than later.


This was more like it from Burnley. In the defeats to Watford and Fulham they have looked a shadow of the side that stormed to seventh in the Premier League last season.

The tempo and defensive organisation was missing, as was the coherence. Despite the changes it was back against Olympiakos.

From the first minute the Clarets got at the opposition, they made Turf Moor look imposing. The tempo was set by the outstanding Ashley Westwood and Jeff Hendrick and chances were created.

It might have been an ultimately disappointing night, but if the Clarets can repeat that performance level they will win a lot of games this season.


Of course the challenge is now to do just that. Europe is no longer a distraction, it’s time to turn the Premier League form around.

By failing to make the group stage have the expectations around Burnley changed this season? Progression to the group stage would have almost made this campaign a free hit. Stay up relatively comfortably, say in 14th or 15th, and enjoy some memorable European games? That would have been classed as a good season.

Now the Europa League journey has ended the outlook has changed. Nobody really expects a repeat of last season’s heroics, but there will be an expectation that they can now at least get close to that tally of 54 points.


It might have lasted just over a month but Burnley’s return to Europe was certainly a memorable one.

From the Battle of Britain at Pittodrie to a ferocious night in Athens, via a soulless shell in Istanbul, with two tense Turf Moor nights thrown in, there was plenty to savour and enjoy for players, staff and fans.

It had been a long wait of 51 years to see the Clarets back in continental competition, but you’d like to think the wait won’t be that long again.

Burnley are in a fantastic position financially and over the next couple of seasons can really look to establish themselves in the Premier League.

Finishing in the top seven again might be a step too far at the moment, but anyone for the EFL Cup?