Boss Vincent Kompany had "planned for the worst" when taking the Burnley job in the summer
Burnley boss Vincent Kompany had hoped that his side would be in the play-off picture when the Championship season paused for the World Cup.
The 36-year-old Manchester City legend, however, had never anticipated that the Clarets would be top of the division once the major tournament in Qatar had started.The Premier League Hall of Famer was tasked with a large-scale rebuild on his appointment in the summer with the sales of key personnel required to re-balance the books and rebuild the squad.Senior members Ben Mee and James Tarkowski moved on without recompense, England international Nick Pope joined Chris Wood at Newcastle United, Nathan Collins made a big-money move to Wolves, Dwight McNeil was snapped up by Everton while fan favourite Maxwel Cornet signed for West Ham United.In total 13 senior players departed after the 2021/22 campaign, with Kompany bringing in 16 new players to replenish the group ahead of Burnley's first season back in the second tier in seven years.The ex-Belgium international admitted that he and his backroom team had planned for the worst case scenario: "I never expected this, ever. As you start to land players you get the feeling that you can raise the bar a little bit because you see what they can and can't do."My first day at the club was the loss of Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Dwight McNeil, Maxwel Cornet, Nick Pope, Nathan Collins, so all these guys left and 16 players replaced them in a league that I didn't really know."That moment right there, we had planned for the worst, financially as well. The deals we've done, the transfers, none of them will sink us, all of them made us fairly confident that we could survive in the Championship, but also try to push if we go up."That was a good balance to find to start the season. We had no expectations. Now the expectations come with what people see. I think we try to set the bar as high as we can for ourselves, but to the outside world it remains the same. "The league leaders signed off with a comprehensive win in the East Lancashire derby against Blackburn Rovers at Turf Moor, a result that lifted them three points clear of Sheffield United at the summit.Ashley Barnes scored twice in the second half, with Morocco international Anass Zaroury netting in-between, to push the memory of defeat at the hands of the Blades at Bramall Lane into the distance.The table-toppers are now the bookmakers' favourites to win the title and make an immediate return to the top flight, but Kompany is refusing to pay any attention to the outside noise.The one-time World Cup semi-finalist remains absorbed in the project and, with more than half-a-season still to play, he won't allow anybody to get ahead of themselves, especially after everything they've been through."We're not treating ourselves as favourites, we're not putting any pressure on it, the only pressure we have is for football players to develop and get better every day," he said."The worst, which has been reported many times, was debt repayments linked with players leaving with no resale value, because we lost a lot of players on a free, which is tough when you have to replenish the squad."Then there was the sale of our best players to enable us to replenish our squad. All of this is a perfect storm. My coaching career has been such that I've never known anything different, or a different environment, I've not been lucky yet to know anything different."I felt quite confident and saw it as an opportunity to turn things around a little bit quicker, but there's a lot of margin for error at the beginning."