'The realist in me': Burnley favourite Clarke Carlisle warns expectations must be managed on Premier League return

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Clarke Carlisle believes expectations will have to be managed on Burnley’s return to the Premier League next season.
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The Clarets will line up in the top flight next term after storming to the Championship title under Vincent Kompany, amassing 101 points along the way and losing just three games all season.

Because of the emphatic nature of their title triumph, there’s a belief among a section of the fanbase that Burnley can not just survive back in the Premier League, but also thrive and push on up the table.

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While Carlisle expects his old side to avoid relegation next season, he warns it might not always be plain sailing.

He told the Burnley Express: "We've seen in recent years things that, externally, seem like miracles in the Premier League, whether it's Aston Villa's resurgence to qualify for Europe, whether it is performances of clubs like Brentford, or as far as Leicester City winning the whole thing.

“There is no reason why a club with that consistency, reliability, confidence and knowledge in what they're doing and how they're doing it can not go on to do something spectacular.

“That being said, one of the hardest things to manage as a player is the shift in expectation that happens when you are successful.

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Burnley favourite Clarke CarlisleBurnley favourite Clarke Carlisle
Burnley favourite Clarke Carlisle

“You'll undoubtedly see, whether it's Burnley or another side, if a team's had a decent start and they're 11th in the league after 10 games, all of a sudden the fanbase thinks they can qualify for Europe, so the bar of expectation is shifted markedly higher when, for a club like Burnley, an 11th place finish would be a phenomenal achievement in a first season.

“Managing expectation is really important because the pressure that it can put on a young squad that has just elevated itself to that level of football can be quite troublesome.

“Wishful thinking says why can't they do something spectacular? The realist in me says to finish in the top half would be a phenomenal achievement.”

Burnley get their season underway when they host reigning champions Manchester City at Turf Moor on Friday, August 11.