Grant wants to repay fans with finish above rivals Blackburn

Lee Grant
Lee Grant

Lee Grant would love to repay the supporters who voted for him as player of the year by helping the Clarets finish above rivals Blackburn for the first time since 1979.

A win at home to Ipswich Town tomorrow will ensure Burnley end the season higher than Rovers, something which has not happened since the Clarets helped relegate the old enemy from the Second Division, completing the double 34 years ago.

The following season Rovers were promoted back to the second tier, while the Clarets went the other way, down to the Third Division for the first time in their history.

Burnley have not topped their neighbours since, and Grant, asked whether he would like to finish above Blackburn for the fans, said: “100%, and I think as players as well it’s nice to finish as high up the league as possible.

“When people ask you how you got on, you want to say ‘top half, we did all right’.

“We could have done better here and there. As players we’ve got our personal pride and we want to finish as high as we can. We want to sign off in style. It’s nice when the last game’s at home and we get the chance to celebrate not getting relegated and putting that all to bed so we can have a relaxed end to the season and hopefully with three points.

“The gaffer’s very motivated to make sure we finish the season on the right note and with as many points as possible.”

Burnley can look forward to more derbies next season against Rovers and Blackpool, while they could yet be facing Bolton and Wigan also, and the former Derby and Sheffield Wednesday keeper added: “At my last couple of clubs we’ve had good rivalries, obviously the Sheffield derby was a big one. Here it’s great because you’ve got a few. At Derby we had Coventry, Leicester, Birmingham and Forest mainly. I’m used to it, I enjoy the derby games and they’re always the ones you look out for.”

At Wednesday, Grant was player of the year and players’ player of the year in his final season, and he said after claiming the overall fans’ award at Turf Moor on Tuesday: “I was quite lucky, I had three good years at Sheffield Wednesday and had a very good relationship with the fans there also.

“I won a few awards there and these will go quite nicely alongside those!”

• The Burnley Express has launched a FREE football app which is now available to download on iPhone and Android devices.