Defensive duo top of the stops

Michael Keane in action at Old Trafford
Michael Keane in action at Old Trafford

Michael Keane is proud of the partnership that he’s developed with fellow centre-half Ben Mee at Turf Moor.

Statistically, the pair are two of the best performing defenders in the Premier Division at present having contributed heavily to Burnley’s bright start to the campaign.

Ben Mee

Ben Mee

England international Keane tops the charts, alongside Hull City’s Curtis Davies, for blocks made with 20 while Mee sits second with 16.

The duo are joint third in the hierarchy for clearances having shared 182 and joint 13th for interceptions made in games with 25.

Their numbers shot up during the goalless draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford as Keane climbed in to second spot for headed clearances with 63 with Mee in fifth with 47.

“They’re good stats,” said Keane. “We’ve only been playing together since last Christmas, coming up to a year, but we’ve forged a good partnership together and worked well with each other.

“It’s all come naturally and he’s just fallen in to centre-half and started playing really well. We just took it from there and going 23 games undefeated last year gave us confidence and a platform to build on.

“It comes from working on it in training all the time. Things like set-plays as well - away from home we’ve conceded goals but we’ve worked on them recently and thankfully we were good with them at the weekend.”

Meanwhile, Keane is a firm believer in the saying: “Fail to prepare; prepare to fail”.

The 23-year-old admits that preparation has been key since his early days at the Theatre of Dreams.

“You can’t get higher standards than what was set when I was at Man United under Sir Alex Ferguson. Every little thing - preparations before games and before training - they were on you all the time,” he said.

“Wherever I have been in my career, on loan or here at Burnley, I have carried that through and I always will.

“Preparation is key, you have to eat right do things right off the pitch as well.”

United may have drilled that disciplined approach in to him, and he’s grateful for his time there, but Keane was happy to show the club what they missed out on at the weekend.

“When I left the club I wanted to prove them (United) wrong,” he said. “That is the sort of stuff that drives me every day to improve.”