PHIL Bardsley insists Burnley have ‘nothing to fear’ from a trip to Old Trafford today as he returns to his former club.

The 32-year-old joined the Red Devils as an eight-year-old and can look back on some fond memories under Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Salford-born right-back believes coming through the youth set-up at United helped shape him as a player and a person and he is looking forward to his first return with Burnley today, confident the Clarets can pose Jose Mourinho’s second placed side some problems.

“It’s a great place, it’s the best away ground to go to and play and I’ve got some good memories there. I always look forward to going back,” Bardsley said. “We’ve nothing to fear there whatsoever.”

Bardsley only made 18 appearances for United before departing Old Trafford for Sunderland. But he believes his time in the club’s youth set-up was influential.

“It’s a great education, that’s what it was, an education in the fundamentals of life and football,” the former Stoke City man said.

“It was how to speak to people, the importance of respect and the things taught to all the lads who have been through the system there, from under-nines right through to the first team.

“It was a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge gained, football-wise as well. I wouldn’t have liked to have spent it anywhere else than there.”

Bardsley has had some success on his previous returns to Old Trafford, helping Sunderland to a League Cup semi-final victory in 2013/14 as well as claiming a couple of draws in the league.

But plenty has changed at the club since he left permanently 10 years ago next month.

“Player-wise I think there’s only a couple I know there really,” he said. “I’ve heard mixed reports about behind the scenes since Sir Alex has left, but that’s up to them and the approach they want to take now.

“Jose has come in and brought the players he wants in, they’re challenging for the league but it’s going to be difficult to catch Man City.”

Bardsley will have a few friends and family members in the stands today but added: “They’ve been over the years so they know what it’s all about but I still get my fair share of support. I think most of them will be in the pub watching it.”

Burnley will be looking to bounce back from their fifth league defeat of the season having been beaten 3-0 by Tottenham on Saturday.

They have responded to their previous four defeats by winning their next game and Bardsley believes that is a key asset in the Clarets squad.

“We’ve got a strong group in there, we don’t do disappointments, we just get on with it and hopefully we can turn it around on Boxing Day,” he added.