Duff – ‘Let’s make Turf a horrible place to come to’

Scott Arfield and Michael Duff have words at half-time - Burnley 2, Bradford City 0 - Turf Moor, August 1st 2015
Scott Arfield and Michael Duff have words at half-time - Burnley 2, Bradford City 0 - Turf Moor, August 1st 2015

While Turf Moor might be less of a culture shock for Championship clubs than the Premier League elite, Michael Duff is out to make it a “horrible place to go.”

Birmingham City are the first visitors to Burnley tomorrow lunchtime (kick-off 12-30 p.m.), with the Clarets looking for a first win of the season.

The Blues started their campaign with a 2-1 win at home to Reading last Saturday, followed by victory at Bristol Rovers in the Capital One Cup.

Burnley may have lost eight home games in the top flight, but they held Manchester United, Spurs twice, and beat Southampton and Manchester City at home – on the back of suffering only two defeats at Turf Moor in their promotion season.

Duff, in his 12th season at the club, knows only too well how important home form can be for the Clarets: “When the place is bouncing, it’s a tough place for anyone to come to. We’ve shown that in the Premier League against some of the best teams in the country, so we need to do that again.

“The year we went up, we only lost five games out of 46 full stop, but we made Turf a tough place to come to, and a lot of people say that, in the history of the place, it’s a horrible place to go to. So we’ve got to make sure it still is.

“But every game in the Championship is a tough game, there were funny results on the first day, and it’s a coupon buster every week, not that I’m a betting man, but if I was I’d leave the Championship well alone!”

Burnley have started with a good point from a 1-1 draw at Leeds United, before the 1-0 cup exit at Port Vale on Tuesday night, and Duff assessed the side’s efforts so far: “We’ve done okay as a back four, but we’re probably not creating enough chances.

“Teams are maybe shutting up shop against us a bit more, and we’re not getting as much time on the ball, but we’ve got good players and I’m sure something will drop and we’ll kick on.

“Look at the forwards we’ve got, they’re all proven goal scorers at this level, but it’s the second game of the season, we’ve drawn one and lost one, and it’s the end of the world.

“We’ve not become a bad team and bad players overnight, it’s just a case of getting our heads down and working hard.

“The manager was disappointed with the performance and result, as were the players, but once we pick the bones out of it, we’ll move forward, work on what we need to improve on, and try and win the points against Birmingham.”

Burnley have become a scalp for teams, but Duff admitted at Vale Park: ”We’re disappointed, it was a team good enough to win the game, but there wasn’t a lot in it, I don’t think either keeper really made a save in the game.

“They’ve scored a goal from a bit of a scramble.

“We’re a scalp, people are ready for us now, we’re not little old Burnley at the minute because of the league we’ve just come out of, but I don’t think you can read into it too much. We need to perform better though.

“I thought we defended well, I don’t think they had a shot on target before the goal, which was a bit of a scramble.

“It think it did go in so it was a good decision in the end. It took a long time to give it, but it was the right decision.”