"We've not flown four hours to enjoy the sights of Athens", says Burnley defender Bardsley

Defender Phil Bardsley insists that the Clarets haven't come all this way to enjoy the sights of Athens.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 11:30 am
Burnley's Phil Bardsley in action against Istanbul Basaksehir at Turf Moor

The 33-year-old didn't bust a gut in ties against Aberdeen and Istanbul Basaksehir to visit ancient ruins such as Parthenon, Acropolis or any other archaeological sites in the Greek capital.

Burnley are now serious contenders to make the Europa League group stages after making the play-off and Bardsley isn't prepared to let 44-time Super League champions Olympiacos stand in their way.

"We’ve not flown for four hours to enjoy the sights of Athens," he said. "We want to win the tie and get a good result to take back to Turf Moor.

Sign up to our daily Burnley Express Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Burnley's Phil Bardsley in action against Istanbul Basaksehir at Turf Moor

"It was a tremendous finish for us to come seventh last season, which is why we’re here, we’re excited to come to Athens and take them on.

"They’re well-established. They’ve got some very good players and we’re really looking forward to it.

"The Europa League is a challenge but we want to win every game that we play and we want to enjoy this journey.

"It’s not every season you get the chance to play in Europe. We want to keep the dream alive and the fans touring Europe with us."

The former Scotland international is now unbeaten in seven games in European competitions with three different clubs, having also represented Manchester United and Rangers.

And that's a record that he wants to protect far beyond the qualifiers. "There are a lot of games if we go through but it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to," he said.

"It’s been a long time since the club was in Europe and we want this to continue and the only way we can do that is to win the next two legs.

"I’ve always enjoyed playing in Europe. It brings a different feel to it. Styles of football change, the environment, the crowd. I’m looking forward to pitting our wits against some very good players."