Former Claret Cahill hoping Burnley can survive

Gary Cahill battles with Lukas Jutkiewicz

Gary Cahill battles with Lukas Jutkiewicz

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Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is hopeful that the Clarets can survive their second season in the Premier League.

The 28-year-old partnered John Terry in the heart of the Blues defence at Turf Moor on Monday evening as Jose Mourinho’s side opened the campaign with a 3-1 triumph.

The England international, who played every minute under Roy Hodgson throughout the disappointing World Cup campaign, spent the 2004/05 term on loan at Burnley from Aston Villa as Steve Cotterill gave him his first taste of professional football in the Championship.

Cahill went on to make 32 appearances in all competitions for the Clarets, scoring his only goal in a 1-0 win against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium - which saw Ade Akinbiyi, Wayne Thomas and Gifton Noel-Williams featuring for the opposition.

The defender, who played against the Clarets in a 1-1 draw for Bolton at Turf Moor on Boxing Day 2009, said: “I hope they do stay up. I’m obviously fond of Burnley. I played here when they gave me a chance early on in my career so I hope they do really, really well this season. I saw enough tonight to suggest that they can do that.

“It was lovely playing against Burnley. I’ve played here for the England Under 21s and against Burnley before. It was great. I wish them all the very best because I have some fond memories here.”

Scott Arfield’s stunning strike had given the Clarets a 14th minute lead, but the away side responded imperiously and emphatically with goals from £32m signing Diego Costa, World Cup winner Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic.

“I enjoyed it because we won the game and I thought we played some good football at times,” Cahill said. “It wasn’t ideal going 1-0 behind but the reaction from the lads was fantastic. We kind of put the game to bed in the first half although it was a sticky scoreline. We knew if they got a goal back it would be game on. In the second half they played very direct like we’d expected and it was a tough game like we knew it would be. We’re thrilled with the three points.”

He added: “The most pleasing thing was the response. It was fantastic and we switched the game around. It’s a tough place to come. Burnley are direct, strong and we know they can play as well. The first game here, with the atmosphere like it was, it was always going to be tough. We’re off to a good start.

“I wouldn’t say it was comfortable because we had to switch it around. It was tough because it was hard when they kept sticking the ball up there. We had a lot to do defensively so for me I’d say it wasn’t comfortable. It’s a good start to the season and hopefully that can continue.”