Burnley FC fixtures: Brian Jensen and fans deliver their verdict as Manchester City opener is revealed
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The Clarets put on a special breakfast at Turf Moor this morning to coincide with the launch of the 2023/24 fixture list.
Former Clarets favourite Brian Jensen was in attendance inside the Longside Lounge to share a few words after Burnley’s unenviable season opener against treble-winning City was revealed.
It will be an extra special occasion for Burnley boss Vincent Kompany given his previous links to City as a player.
“It’s going to be a tough one, it’s not going to get any tougher than that,” Jensen, who made 271 appearances for the club between 2003 and 2013, told the Burnley Express. “But anything can happen in the first game of the season.
“I know it’s against the champions and the treble winners, but if the fans can help to make it a fortress, anything can happen.”
Irrespective of how it goes against Pep Guardiola’s side on the opening day, the 48-year-old is expecting the Clarets to fare well back in the Premier League.
He added: “I watched a lot of Burnley’s games last season and I’ve been hugely impressed with how Vincent Kompany and the team are doing.
“I for one was surprised by how convincingly they won the title, because they had to change so much with their new players, their new philosophy and new style. The whole feel about the place had to change and to do that over one season is incredible.
“Hopefully they can keep that going next season. I feel they are better equipped than what we were 14 years ago, with a bigger squad full of international players.
“Vincent will not want to get in a relegation battle, he will not be happy with that so hopefully he can freshen things up with a few signings and everything will go smoothly.
“I’m hoping for mid-table, but anything can happen in the Premier League. There are no games that are going to be easy.”
Helen Gurman, chief executive of Burnley FC in the community, was in an optimistic mood as she assessed the Clarets’ exciting fixture list.
“I think it was inevitable (we would get Man City first), wasn’t it, with the Vincent Kompany link? They were always going to be looking for that fixture,” she said.
“To get them on the first day of the season wasn’t a surprise but I think it’s going to be a fantastic fixture and let’s hope we manage to surprise everybody.
“The first five games are difficult but in the Premier League that’s what you’ve got to expect. But what we can’t underestimate is this team, Vincent Kompany and what is happening at the club, so let’s see. It’s an exciting time.
“The Liverpool game at home on Boxing Day should be fantastic and towards the end of the season Spurs away looks exciting. Hopefully by that point we’ll be riding high and we just get to enjoy the fixture.
“I don’t think anyone is thinking it’s going to be easy from any team, but I do think we’ll have a great ride. Under Kompany we’ll have a great season, so hopefully we finish in a comfortable position, maybe even top half.”
Among the supporters in attendance was Adrian Hirst, who believes the Premier League is a lot tougher now than it was the last time Burnley were in the top flight.
“We’ll get the tough one out of the way straight away,” he said of the opening day encounter against Man City.
“It’s lovely that it’s a Friday night match, so it’s the first match of the Premier League season so all eyes will be on that game. That brings great profile for us and Vincent will be excited.
“It could either be a poor goal difference at the end of it for us or it could be a surprise. Why not? I’m very excited.
“All the games are tough though. Now we’re in the Premier League, the bar is a lot higher than it was when we were last there and we’re going into a much tougher division. Every game will be nip and tuck, so there are no easy games, they’re all hard.
“But if we can come around 12th, somewhere like that, I’d be very, very pleased. Either way I think there will definitely be three worse teams than us in the league, but who knows? But then there will be six or seven teams that will be really hard to get anything out of.”
While the general consensus seems to be that Burnley should have enough to avoid relegation, the club still appears well positioned even if the worst happens.
That’s certainly the verdict of Gavin Young, who told The Express: “When is it a good time to play Manchester City?!
“It’s the first game, they’ve got to come here where there will be a full house, a hostile environment and I think I might go for a 1-1. I think we’ll score, definitely.
“In the first five you’re looking at Villa at home, is that one (where Burnley can win)? Luton away, that will be tough because they’ll be thinking they can get some points out of that game, just as we will.
“If we stay in the Premier League, that’s great. If we do end up going down, we’re well positioned to bounce straight back up again, so the future is looking really good.”