Burnley fan Oliver Norwood admits he would love to see the Clarets promoted back to the Premier League - but he is out to put a spanner in the works tomorrow.
The 22-year-old Burnley-born midfielder is expected to line up for Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium, admitting “I won’t have a house to go back to if we win!”
But he is just focussing on the job in hand, keeping the Terriers in touching distance of the play-off places.
The former St Theodore’s pupil, and one-time Burnley Cricket Club second teamer, looked ahead to the game: “If I’m being honest, at the start of the season I wouldn’t have thought Burnley would be top of the league, but they clearly deserve to be.
“I’ve seen them a few times, and fair play to the manager, he has them playing with style and they are going really well.
“I’m a Burnley fan - I used to be a season ticket holder - but sentiment goes out of the window.
“I just want to try and get the three points and build on the win over Sheffield Wednesday - then the banter with my mates can continue, if I stil have any!”
The Northern Ireland international will have plenty of friends and family in a sold-out away end - with Burnley backed by almost 3,500 fans - and he smiled: “There should be a great atmosphere with a lot of Burnley fans going, although I’m sure I’ll be getting a lot of stick.
“A lot of my mates will be trying to wind me up I’d imagine, there’ll be 20 or 30 there, and I don’t think I’ll be popular if we win.”
The ideal scenario for him is a Huddersfield win, with Burnley going on to seal promotion - and Town sneaking in the play-offs: “I saw a couple of Burnley’s games in the Premier League, when they beat Manchester United at home, and I always check how they get on.
“It would be great if they could get back in the Premier League.
“It’s great for the town and everybody involved how well they are doing.
“It’s a working class town with working class people, and they are playing the type of football people want to see.
“Their results have been unbelievable. I hope they can continue to do well, just not on Saturday.”
Norwood is familiar with a few of the players he is likely to be up against tomorrow, being friends with Kieran Trippier, and a former Huddersfield teammate of Clarets midfielder Scott Arfield.
Arfield was something of an unheralded signing in the summer, but Norwood is not surprised at how well he has performed: “I only played with Scotty for a year, but he’s a top lad - you couldn’t meet a nicer person, and he’s a very talented footballer, so it’s not surprise to me that he’s done well.
“I was surprised when we decided not to keep him to be honest. A lot of my mates asked me about him, and I said he was a very good player, and they’ve come back and said I was right!
“They’ve been very impressed with him.
“But I know Tripps quite well as well, he just does what he does - I don’t think there’s anyone better than him in the division in his position.
“I’m pleased to see Danny Ings come back after injury and do so well as well, I don’t know him, but as a fellow professional, it’s great to see.”
However, Norwood expects someone Burnley know all too well to be a threat tomorrow: “Martin Paterson got his first goal for us against Wednesday, and proved his worth, and with him and James Vaughan, I wouldn’t want to play against those two.
“I feel sorry for defenders!
“You don’t get a moment’s rest against them.
“It didn’t quite happen for Pato early on here, but I play with him with Northern Ireland and watched him for a few years at Burnley and know what he’s capable of.
“We were having a laugh, and he said he’s going to score against Burnley, so we’ll see.”