Paterson sad to leave Burnley
Fan favourite Martin Paterson insists his move away from Turf Moor was motivated by the opportunity to play in his favoured position as a striker.
Though some sources suggest that a failure to agree a financial package was the reason behind talks breaking down between the two parties, the 26-year-old declared that he wanted to re-assert himself as one of the division’s top strikers.
After sweating on an offer from the Clarets - despite the contract being presented after last season’s end - the Northern Ireland international revealed that he was given assurances from Terriers boss Mark Robins who stated that he was a ‘firm believer in putting round pegs in round holes’.
Paterson said: “It’s something I felt had to happen if I’m honest. I’ve really tried to stay quiet on the contract front because the privacy between a club and a player is important. The only true contract offer that was set in stone though was offered after the season. There’s been a lot of uncertainty.
“My mind wasn’t made up either way until recently but in the end I made the decision that I had to make the move for my family and for myself as a footballer. As much as I love working hard and doing a job for the team, I’m a centre forward.
“I just think the time is right now to make a selfish decision. I need to make my name back as a striker. It’s a situation where my decision wasn’t financially driven, it was positionally driven and chosen for football reasons.
“If I work hard through pre-season and I get on the field I’ve been given assurances from the Huddersfield manager that if I’m selected I’ll play down the middle.”
Paterson was signed from Scunthorpe United by Owen Coyle in June 2008, scoring 19 goals in all competitions in his debut season as the Clarets reached the semi-final of the Carling Cup before gaining promotion to the Premier League. His final goal that term was a rocket in the play-off semi-final second leg triumph over Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
Paterson made 23 appearances in England’s top tier but the following two campaigns were severely hampered by a thigh injury. He returned to full fitness last season and went on to finish as the Clarets second leading scorer - behind Charlie Austin - with eight goals.
“I’ve had a fantastic time at the club with some highs and lows. With what I’ve achieved in my career, Burnley Football Club will always have a special place in my heart. There’s a lot stands out and I’m thankful to the club for giving me the opportunity to do all that and to the fans for supporting me through that time.
“It was a special achievement and I don’t think anybody with that small a budget or who were made favourites for relegation will get promoted from the Championship again. It was a special year.
“Then there was the Premier League season which was good but I had a bad time after that and I was hit with a few unfortunate injuries. I’ve always tried to bounce back while I’ve been at the club and worked hard throughout the good and the bad.”
Paterson admits that he leaves the club with a heavy heart, though he’s already looking forward to making his return with Huddersfield Town on New Year’s Day to kickstart 2014.
“It will be strange. It’s a great footballing arena and I love it. It’s a great place to play. I’ve enjoyed great times there. When I come back it will be weird. It’s on New Year’s Day so hopefully most fans will be hungover, stay in bed and don’t come to give me any stick. I hope they remember how much I wanted to win.”