Burnley keeper Grant feels the Clarets can push on

Lee Grant
Lee Grant

KEEPER Lee Grant feels there is more to come from a new-look Burnley squad.

Two weeks ago, the Clarets were only kept out of the relegation zone on goal difference after defeat at Peterborough.

But seven points from nine, from a tricky set of games at home to Southampton and Nottingham Forest, and then at Millwall on Saturday, has elevated Eddie Howe’s side to 14th, five points from sixth with a game in hand.

While pleased with the climb up the table, Grant believes the players have the potential to achieve more, with the average age of the side that beat Forest and Millwall just under 24.

After the 1-0 victory at The Den - earning a first clean sheet in 24 games a long the way, Grant said: “Obviously we’re not going to get carried away, we’ve won at Millwall, which is a really good result, but we’re still probably not as high up the league as we’d like to be.

“People probably look at the squad and the position and what’s gone on in terms of players in and out and think maybe that is their rightful position in the league, maybe they are a mid-table side.

“Obviously we’re going to think otherwise, we need to believe in ourselves and continue to work as hard as we have done and hopefully we will push up to where we think we deserve to be.”

Much has been made of the turnover of players at the club over the summer, losing a vast amount of experience along the way, but Grant is impressed with how the young players are showing both silk and steel, in particular in digging in to earn away wins at Derby and Millwall in intimidating atmospheres: “We’ve got a small squad and a young squad and that can go one of two ways really.

“You can stick together and all work hard for each other, and that seems to be what we’re doing.

“We’re trying not to go the other way where you see some young sides who might crumble a bit in this division, coming to places like The Den, it’s not easy for young teams.

“But I think we’re dealing with it in the right manner, we’re working hard, we’re sticking together.

“The manager’s young himself, he’s decided that he wants a young squad, it’s fresh, it’s exuberant and everyone’s looking to try and impress so it’s good for everybody.

“We’re all trying to keep our spot.”

And competition is fierce at present, with the likes of Michael Duff and Brian Jensen expected to be close to a return after the international break.

Grant said: “We were all probably disappointed with the start we had and thought we may have deserved more on certain occasions.

“But we stuck at it and got a really good point at home to Southampton, when we worked hard and probably deserved more.

“Obviously we kicked on from there with two wins from two so we’re really pleased.

“We’re a new side really, we’re a new back five and we’re a young back five.

“Things don’t happen overnight and everyone understands that at the club.

“But we’re working hard to try to improve all of our game and that’s from the front all the way back through to myself and the back five.

“We’ve set the standards and we’ve had to work really hard even to get a point at home to Southampton and then the lads have put in a real shift in the next two games.”

And the former Derby and Sheffield Wednesday man looked back on the club’s first win in London since the Play-off Final in 2009: “We knew it was going to be tough, especially going into the second half 1-0 up.

“We expected the kitchen sink and everything else to come over the top, and it did.

“But we stood up to a man and got three points and a good clean sheet.”

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