Kieran Trippier is eyeing the top six
IT’S often referred to as the most competitive league in Europe - where bottom can beat top.
And that was borne out last weekend as Doncaster defeated leaders Southampton.
The nature of the league is the oft-used phrase that a couple of wins can propel you up the table - as Burnley’s trio of victories has proved.
The Clarets have moved from 22nd, as things stood, at 2-0 down at Hull City, to, three wins later, 11th, and six points off the play-off places.
A run of three home games in four starts tomorrow against Portsmouth, and marauding right back Kieran Trippier senses a chance to make a dent into the top six before the turn of the year.
Eddie Howe’s side have found home wins hard to come by so far this term, earning three from 10 games, but Trippier, one of Burnley’s most consistent performers this season, said: “Doncaster beating Southampton shows what this league’s all about.
“Anybody can beat anyone in this league, but our team spirit’s good and confidence is high.
“West Ham are flying and we beat them as well, and that’s through belief and spirit.
“We’re only a few points off the top six now and have a few games at home, so if we can get a few wins, we’ll be pushing for the play-offs.
“We’re a very young team but a very good team, and every player is a very good player. I personally think we can get in the play-offs if we stick together.”
Burnley’s run comes on the back of four defeats on the spin, but the players’ belief never wavered in a difficult spell: “It was bad going through that spell, but we all stuck together and believed, and I think our time’s come now to get the points we need.
“We stayed together and believed in our performances and each other.
“I don’t think we played badly in the run of defeats, we gave goals away and didn’t deserve it.
“That’s gone now though, and we’re looking forward now.
“We’re flying at the moment, we needed that after a bad run, and it’s pushed us up the table.
“Hopefully another win against Portsmouth can push us up higher.
“The three wins came at the right time, and we have to make sure we don’t drop our heads and don’t go out there believing we just have to turn up to win the game.”
This time of year is often a busy one - weather permitting - and a key time of the season.
It’s a period Trippier is looking forward to: “It’s coming up to Christmas and there’s a lot of games coming up, and we need the points to get us up the table - we’re not far off the play-offs.
“We were a point or two off the relegation zone, and now those three wins have moved us right up there.
“We’re delighted with how it’s going at the moment.
“We’ve done a lot of travelling, and got the points, so it’s good to be back at home with the crowd behind us.
“I want to play football at this time of year, it’s what I love doing - it’s my job.
“In this league there’s a lot of games to play, so this time of year is exciting for me.”
After the best part of a season and a half at Barnsley, the Manchester City loan man is enjoying a run of games with the Clarets - and working with Howe: “It’s good to come here and tryand get as many games under my belt as I can, to come to a club 10 minutes away from where I live, I’m delighted.
“The fans have supported me since I’ve been here, and I think I’ve been doing well.
“I want to maintain that to the end of the season.
“The manager’s good with me as well, he does one to ones after training and always helps. I listen to everything he says because he’s a very good manager and has very good staff. The experienced players help as well.
“He’s a young manager and there are players in the team nearly as old as him, but we have a lot of understanding.
“He did a good job at Bournemouth and I’m sure he’ll do a good job here.”
Burnley look to improve their home record against Pompey - who haven’t lost in seven games at Turf Moor.
And Trippier hopes recent results will mean a raucous home support tomorrow: “It’s not just harder to win at home, we were under a bit of pressure, but confidence is high now and I think we’ll do well, with the crowd behind us as well after the last few games.
“Pato coming back is a big boost as well, and Ingsy’s not far off either.”