Lafferty backs former club

Burnley's James Tarkowski jumps with Birmingham City's Kyle Lafferty

Photographer Mick Walker/CameraSport

Football - The Football League Sky Bet Championship - Birmingham City v Burnley - Saturday 16th April 2016 - St Andrews - Birmingham
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Burnley's James Tarkowski jumps with Birmingham City's Kyle Lafferty Photographer Mick Walker/CameraSport Football - The Football League Sky Bet Championship - Birmingham City v Burnley - Saturday 16th April 2016 - St Andrews - Birmingham � CameraSport - 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - admin@camerasport.com - www.camerasport.com

Former Clarets striker Kyle Lafferty believes Burnley will earn promotion back to the Premier League.

Lafferty played against his old club on Saturday for the first time since leaving for Rangers in the summer of 2008, as a late substitute for Birmingham City in Burnley’s 2-1 win at St Andrew’s.

And the Northern Ireland frontman, asked if Burnley can finish off the job and bounce back at the first attempt, said: “I’d like to think they will because of the squad and manager they have.

“They’ve been one of the top two or three teams all season.

“The manager knows what he is doing as well and he has done a brilliant job.

“I think they’ll be disappointed if they don’t win the Championship or at least finish in the top two.”

Lafferty left Turf Moor under something of a cloud after forcing through his switch to Ibrox, and the 28-year-old now regrets his actions: “I started off there at 15 years of age and they gave me my big break. I left under worse terms than I probably would have liked because I wanted to join Rangers, the team that I supported when I was a boy.

“If I’d turned down that opportunity I think I would have regretted it.

“Owen Coyle was the manager at the time and he was kind of playing hard ball, and I had to come out and do something that maybe I shouldn’t have done.”

And he looked back on his time at Burnley with fondness: “I made a few substitute appearances and then went out on loan to Darlingtonb, but I was called back by the club.

“My first start was against Reading and I was voted man of the match.

“Scoring my first goal against Coventry will always live with me, and also playing against Arsenal in the FA Cup.

“I had an exciting four years there and I’m delighted with the way they’ve kicked on since I left, and spent two years in the Premier League.

“I’ve got good memories of my time there and met a lot of amazing people.”