Vincent Kompany's first extended interview as Burnley manager

Vincent Kompany has given his first extended interview as Burnley manager.

By Chris Boden
Friday, 17th June 2022, 8:50 am

The new Clarets boss is expected to speak to the media at a press conference next week, but the Manchester City legend has spoken to the club about his decision to take the reins, and a number of other topics, including his hopes for Burnley fans.

Here is the transcript in full.

What conversations did you have to have first?

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Anderlecht's head coach Vincent Kompany speaks during a press conference of Belgian football team RSC Anderlecht , two days before their "Jupiler Pro League" match against KAS Eupen on January 13, 2021, in Brussels. (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR / BELGA / AFP) / Belgium OUT (Photo by VIRGINIE LEFOUR/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images)

"At first I had to speak with the missus! But my family are good as gold, they would have followed me to Timbuktu if that's where we needed a job, so I can't say I've come back for family reasons.

"I can't say I've come back because I just love the north west - I do - but that's not the reason, it's a professional career decision.

"The conversations I needed to have, I needed to speak to the owners, some of the members of the club, I needed to especially get all the information I could have, to make the most informed decision, and then I was attracted by the fact that I think there are good people there.

"I think in football you can go around so many clubs and you get attached to the badge, the logo, the money, but in reality, it's a people's business, so I've chosen for good people.

Have you got a vision?

"Yeah, I do, very clearly, but the difficulty in football when you mention the word project or vision, when you lose the first game, you get slapped in the face with it.

"We need short-term results, and what I've found more important is we just have an environment where we stay together - good times, bad times, we can stay on course for where we want to go, and rather than making a big announcement of 'this is where we want to be'. it's more about having the discipline to believe in each other.

"I'll be buzzing, so happy, if fans can, first and foremost, say we just enjoy going to the games, they want to go forward, they want to go after it, they want to score goals.

"Don't misunderstand, I know we need to be aggressive as well, we need to be a mean place to come to, but I want it to be fun for the fans and if it starts with this, and we have behind it a structure that allows us to keep hold of the players that we think are good for the club, and bring in players we think will be good for the club in the short and long term, sell for a profit so we can grow the club naturally and maybe fight and punch in a place above this level, but with the means to grow again.

"The idea, the structure is there, and every move we make will be towards that idea.

"But for now, I just want fans to enjoy going to a Burnley game, and if it hasn;t been good, we can be honest with each other and turn it around and go again and improve, and we've got a team, the fans and players together.

"That's more valuable to me now than big statements because anyone can make a big statement, but not everyone knows how to get to a winning culture.

On learning from managers he played under

"I’ve learned from every coach I’ve ever had in my life. Some of them you learn what not to do but when you mention those great coaches like Pep [Guardiola], [Roberto] Mancini, [Manuel] Pellegrini and Roberto Martinez, there are a lot of coaches who are very different in many ways.

"You can take a lot from them but the main thing I have taken – and I think that this is where the passion came from for me to become a coach – is the simple aspect of making players better. It’s about believing that if you make players better, then you win more games.

"You’re very clear on how you want to win games, not because it’s a stylistic idea or approach, but because clarity is what gives you an edge and what allows you to overperform.

"These coaches were great examples and then I’ve mixed it with other coaches I haven’t played with, but I’ve played against. You become this version of the coach you want to be."

What is the difference between Turf Moor and other grounds?

"I think whenever you go to a ground like Turf Moor, first of all it is a little bit a step in the past. It does have that family feel to it. It is a local club that has been able to fight against the bigger clubs because of that home they have.

"Going there with any team I played in was a difficult away game. You know exactly when you can get the fans going, a good challenge, a set piece, a counter or a break or an action with pace. There are a lot of these moments that I think I understand and that I want to give to the fans as well.

"I hope we will have big challenges for fans to get off their seats, I hope we will have a lot of attacks. I hope we will be front of goal quite a lot so that the fans can live for that. I do hope we won't be camped in front of our goal too much, that is the way I have been approaching the game. But we have to have a game that is for the fans.

How much are you looking forward to the derby games?

"Derby matches are the best. You play football to win games but the type of games you win matters. Usually there is a lot of playing down these type occasions but I prefer to build it up. That is what those games are there for, high reward and high risk. Whatever happens you go again but it is worth giving it the appropriate importance it has because when you win it feels better. About the derby that concerns Burnley in particular (Blackburn Rovers) I have researched it enough and I know well enough what it means. It is perhaps not the most known derby in the world but once you understand what is at stake, it it those that you want to be involved in.

What would you say to people who are undecided about coming down to Turf Moor next season?

"I think the biggest thing for me, and I don't like to over promise and make big statements and say we will be in the Premier League next year, because I would prefer to show it in the attitude to work every single day and be relentless and have the highest ambition.

"What I do what to put out there is that my main goal is absolutely, and whether it happens in the first day or not, to have football that is for the fans. I want an attacking team, I want movement in the team, I want a healthy dose of aggression in the team. Something that fans enjoy doing on the weekend. There is enough rubbish happening in the world every day and I want to give something more. I hope that fans will want to come and that fans will give us the time to get to that picture because it doesn't happen overnight. It is something I won't deviate from as an ambition. On a Sunday with your kids, you want to go there and it is a better option than anything else."

How important is the community feel to Burnley?

"It just means it is more meaningful. However you put it, clubs like us depend on that community aspect. No matter what you want to achieve globally because ultimately if we were able to get into the Premier League, there is a bigger picture.

"But whatever we want to achieve in the future will be based on vert local foundations. How well we are with the community and understand the place will ultimately decide how many people will want to support us. I really believe that and we have to be genuine and be more local than any other club. We do put other stuff at the forefront, that is an idea that doesn't just sit there as a policy, it has to transpire into the group and how we play our football. If your a community club and your idea is to be close to your fans then it has to transpire into how we approach the game in one way or another."