Dan Black's verdict: Vincent Kompany's response to Neil Warnock praise is the reason why Burnley will have success under Manchester City legend
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The veteran Huddersfield Town boss has seen it all at this level; he was in charge of Sheffield United when Fulham stormed the division in 2000-01, when Manchester City netted a record-breaking 108 goals the following season, and when record-holders Reading reached 106 points in 2005-06.
He suffered the heaviest defeat of his managerial tenure in the second tier against City in August 1999 when the Blades were beaten 6-0 at Maine Road, Blackburn Rovers (April 2000) and Ipswich Town (November 2004) both hit his sides for five, as did Hull City at the KC Stadium (May 2016) during his stint at Rotherham United.
And Nottingham Forest (May 2012) and Watford (November 2012) inflicted heavy defeats on Leeds United when he was at the helm at Elland Road, with 7-3 and 6-1 outcomes respectively.
However, the 74-year-old, who has seen so much and achieved so much in the game, maintains that the current Championship leaders are the best team he's seen at this level in his last 25 years in management.
Warnock, who has steered three different clubs to the Premier League, said: "They're the best side I've seen in my last 25 years of management. I don't think Vincent Kompany has been given enough credit for what he's done.
"He brought a lot of players in, changed the style, and to get them playing like that...
"What I like about Burnley is that if they've got to battle, they'll battle, they've got a group of players that can play anywhere.
"I think that team could play in the Premier League now. It's very exciting for Burnley.
"I wish I'd managed a team like that. The two wide players are as good as anything in the country, let alone the Championship, and it's so exciting to watch those players.
"You've got Barnesy playing like Pele, what can you do? I've always loved [Johann Berg] Gudmundsson, he's an 8/10 every week, sometimes a nine, never seven or six. They're the rock of the team, you need them to get promotion from the Championship. He's a different class."
With more than 800 games under his belt in the Championship, and its various other guises, Warnock's words carry some considerable weight. It isn't just white noise.
Kompany appreciates the sentiment, as he does from the coaches, pundits and other football folk who have waxed lyrical about his table toppers throughout the season.
But the 36-year-old's 'winning' mentality won't ever allow his insatiable thirst for success to be satisfied. No matter how high he climbs, or the vast amount of glories he experiences along the way, the ex-Belgium international will always want more.
The Clarets might be the best team in the Championship, the club might be heading for an immediate Premier League return, they could do it as champions, but they're still too far down the pecking order in the English hierarchy, as far as Kompany is concerned.
He is just flatly refusing to buy into the self-generated hype, though many others of a more persuasive nature have already been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. That, in itself, is the mark of a coach with boundless potential.
"I can appreciate the compliment, of course, but as much as I appreciate it, I have a feeling that the job's not done yet," he said. "Maybe we'll look back at this season and say this team has done well, but at the moment we haven't achieved anything. We are still number 21 in English football, so that lives throughout the team. We have got to get better!"
For the 14th time this season in all competitions, accounting for just over a third of their games, the Clarets scored three or more goals in a single fixture. It was also the fourth time — adding to games against Blackpool, Swansea City (h) and AFC Bournemouth — that they'd found the back of the net three times before the break.
The Terriers were simply no match for their hosts. They were physically out-fought, tactically out-thought, and they continuously fell into the traps that Burnley had set around the pitch.
Burnley's inverted full backs had caused mayhem throughout with their unconventional, lung-busting bursts forward. Ian Maatsen applied the distraction technique for the first, putting his foot on the gas from an untraceable position as soon as Anass Zaroury switched to move on to his right foot.
Barnes cleverly spun in on the back of defender Michal Helik to get the most delicate of touches (according to official analytical sources) onto the cross to score for the third time on the spin.
The second was even more impressively executed. Despite having every man but one behind the ball when Hjalmar Ekdal collected it, following a spell of playing 'keep ball', the hosts somehow managed to engineer the situation into their favour.
Barnes drew Tom Lees, like a moth to a flame, manufacturing an aperture between the centre backs in doing so, leaving Gudmundsson one-on-one with Rarmani Edmonds-Green, who he peeled away from, before Connor Roberts, advancing from an inside position, slotted the ball into an empty net after his team-mate had taken goalkeeper Nicholas Bilokapic out of the equation.
The Icelander was at the heart of Burnley's third as they Burnley to hit the visitors from all angles. His incisive pass, on the back of a slightly fortuitous ricochet, penetrated the space between Helik and Etiene Camara, allowing Josh Brownhill, who had invaded the land on the other side of the Frenchman, where Jaheim Headley had also been caught out, to guide the ball home from close range.
The fourth and final goal, with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining, was born from a very familiar pattern of play by this point. Nathan Tella ran off the shoulder of Camara to meet Roberts' delectable defence-splitting pass and the hosts packed four men into the box at the time of substitute Michael Obafemi tucking away the Southampton ace's cut back with a first-time finish.
It had been a recurring theme throughout. Maatsen, who was later stretchered off with a shoulder injury, clipped the outside of the post from a searching Ekdal pass, Tella's touch let him down on a couple of occasions when played through, and the leading scorer watched an effort deflected wide when Obafemi had laid off another peach of a pass from the league leaders’ Swedish sensation
Burnley had parted Town's rear-guard like Moses had parted the Red Sea. "That links in with the profile of player we have," Kompany said. "It's not common to have your full-backs making runs in behind from inverted, or inside, positions.
"It's not common to have your centre backs driving up to the edge of the box, but if you don't do it against an opponent fighting for their life, we needed that variety. It was a different games in many aspects tactically, but it was needed to have that variety.
"There were a few guys trying to nick the ball off the other player! In the end, for me as a manager, I'm just happy when they go in. If you have a variety in the way you attack an opponent's box, you'll have a variety of goal-scorers."
The champions elect have now won 13 of their last 14 games across the board at Turf Moor. They've scored in 31 games on the bounce, kept 14 clean sheets in the league (doing the double over Norwich, Coventry City and Huddersfield), and they've now opened up a 19 point gap over third place Middlesbrough with just 36 points left to play for.
Now you're going to believe us, the Clarets are going up!