Junior’s fresh lease of life at Burnley FC

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JUNIOR Stanislas hopes he and big mate Zavon Hines can inflict Hammer horror on Championship defences.

The 22-year-old wideman joined Burnley on transfer deadlne last Wednesday, and is in line for his debut at home to Middlesbrough tomorrow.

And he has been reunited with Hines - his teammate at West Ham - who made the same move north last month.

Hines has already featured twice, in the draw with Cardiff and Carling Cup win over Barnet, and while the duo have similar attributes, Stanislas feels the pair can form a double act: “I’m sure there’s room for both of us.

“Zav’s good enough to play and I feel I’m good enough to play so it would be good if we can play together.

“The lads have made me feel welcome, and obviously I’ve got my friend Zav holding my hand. It’s been quite easy settling in.

“He came up a couple of weeks before me so I’ve been in contact with him and he told me it’s good here, so I was always going to come.

“He said the manager’s terrific and the assistant, and all the boys are really good as well so you can’t ask for much more than that.

“I’ve trained with the lads a few times now, they like to play football and there’s a good team spirit.

“I’m no oldie myself so I can relate to the boys.

“Not only is there good quality in the squad, they are good lads as well so hopefully we can get up and out of this league.”

England Under 21 international Stanislas joins a squad that is taking on a more youthful look under one of the youngest managers in the Football League.

And like boss Eddie Howe, Stanislas is celebrating becoming a father for the first time - over the weekend.

So it is a big time in his life in more ways than one: “I became a father over the weekend with twin boys, Alex and Jacob.

“It’s exciting times with the move up here and everything else. But it will be good I’m sure.

“The boys were born in London and my girlfriend’s taken them home now, but hopefully they will be here in the next few days.”

But he is eager to kick-start a promising career that stalled at Upton Park, after bursting onto the scene under Gianfranco Zola.

After the 2009/10 season - during which Stanislas scored four goals in 28 appearances for the Hammers, including one in a 5-3 win over the Clarets - the Gazzetta dello Sport named him as one of five stars of the future in English football, with David N’Gog, Franco di Santo, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey.

But he played only eight times under Avram Grant last term as the Hammers were relegated, and had made two appearances under Sam Allardyce before his move.

Stanislas said: “When Franco was at West Ham, he was quite a young manager and probably understood us a little bit more and gave the younger players a chance, so that was always good.

“When he left and Avram came in he probably worked with more experienced players, which is obviously frustrating for the younger boys, but it’s something you’ve got to deal with.”

Asked if he feels he has a point to prove, he added: “Yes, because I was playing before that and I was in and out, in and out.

“Obviously I just wanted to play in the team.

“When I do play I know what I can do.

“I was out for four months with injury and then I came back and it was difficult to get myself back in the team. I had been in the team but the injury wrote me off.

“They were frustrating times but I suppose he had to manage the team the way he saw best.”

It has been a chaotic time in East London, with a revolving door in the manager’s office, and relegation to contend with: “It was strange because there were a lot of good players and internationals in the side. I just think that when you’re on a losing streak and heading down it’s hard to pick yourself up.

“The spirit wasn’t too bad. It was just one of those things.”

Allardyce is placing his imprint on the club, and Stanislas felt he had to move on for the sake of his career: “West Ham is known as a club that likes to play football in the right way – not that Sam’s style isn’t the right way, it’s just his own style, and so far it’s been working because they’ve been winning games. You can’t really criticise him.

“I liked him. His style has its critics but as a man and as a manager he was nice.

“He’s straight to the point and straightforward with you. What you see is what you get, he doesn’t tell you any lies.

“But Eddie’s got the boys playing well here, and I like to keep the ball on the floor and pass it as well, rather than the direct style.

“That’s one of the main reasons I came here.”

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