Burnley have a stronger mentality than five years ago

Burnley's Michael Duff under pressure from  Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose''Photographer Kieran Galvin/CameraSport''Football - FA Challenge Cup Third Round Replay - Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley - Wednesday 14th January 2015 - White Hart Lane - London'' � CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com
Burnley's Michael Duff under pressure from Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose''Photographer Kieran Galvin/CameraSport''Football - FA Challenge Cup Third Round Replay - Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley - Wednesday 14th January 2015 - White Hart Lane - London'' � CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

Michael Duff is the only survivor from Burnley’s last Premier League campaign.

And he feels the Clarets are in better shape to beat the drop this time around.

With eight games remaining, Burnley are in a similar position to five years ago – 18th in the table, although, a point better off, they are a point adrift of safety, rather than three in 2010.

But, crucially, as Duff points out, the club is united at this stage, having had the hammer blow of Owen Coyle upping and leaving for relegation rivals Bolton halfway through their first Premier League season.

Burnley won four of their first 10 games in 2009/10, before tailing off, but this time around, after failing to win any of their first 10 fixtures, they have recovered and are very much alive and kicking.

Duff said: “It’s completely different this time. The manager left the last time, and had everyone buying into what he thought and then he decided to leave for his own reasons in the January.

“It ripped the heart out of the club. It didn’t matter who came in, it was going to be an uphill task because the heart was ripped out of the club.

This is completely different. Everyone is 100% – the board, the players, the supporters, the staff – all pulling in the same direction.

There’s a real belief that we can achieve something this year against all the odds.”

Those odds were further stacked against Burnley after their first 10 games, but Duff added: “We did alright in many of those first 10 games, but we didn’t get a win, which was hard to take sometimes.

“But there is definitely a stronger mentality in this squad which reflects the manager.

“There is absolutely no chance you would think we were in the bottom three if you looked in the dressing room and the training ground because the place is so upbeat.

“We are different in that we don’t have many players who have played at this level, so we are enjoying it.

“Hopefully the togetherness we’ve got will be a strength.

“There is no doubt last time we struggled when Owen left, but a lot of things have happened since then.

“With eight games to go I don’t think a lot of people would have expected us to be in and around where we are.

“No one wants a relegation and we are not saying we are going to do it, it will be hard, but a lot of players have played a lot of games over a lot of years to get to this level so they will be giving 100% to stay at this level

“What is the worst that can happen? You could lose a game of football, but we are expected to lose it anyway.

“There are other pressures. I’ve played with lads who have been released and cannot afford to pay a mortgage.”