Defour gets his dream debut with Turf triumph
Record signing Steven Defour claimed that he couldn't have dreamed for a better debut after the Clarets beat Liverpool 2-0 at Turf Moor.
Following David Jones’s departure to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, the £7.5m capture from RSC Anderlecht went straight in to boss Sean Dyche’s XI for the visit of the Europa League finalists.
And the 28-year-old made an instant impression, driving through the heart of the Reds midfield to tee up last season’s leading scorer Andre Gray for the second goal in the 37th minute.
“It was really amazing, I couldn’t have dreamed any better,” he said. “A win against Liverpool at home with the amazing fans was all that I hoped for.
“Liverpool is a big team. Last week they won against Arsenal and for us to win now feels very good.
“Of course it was important to get this win. We lost last week and having two losses at home, it starts to get difficult.
“It’s not the end of the world, but it gets difficult. To get the three points today, it was important.”
It was a baptism of fire for Defour on a physically demanding afternoon against Jurgen Klopp’s men but the Belgium international, who was replaced by fellow summer signing Johann Berg Gudmundsson in the second half, is adamant that he’ll soon acclimatise to the pace of the Premier League.
“Yes, it was physically demanding because we were only two in midfield and Firmino was coming into the midfield, Sturridge came inside, so it was really demanding,” he said.
“Also, we couldn’t keep the ball long enough to rest a little bit, but that’s the Premier League and I have to adapt it.
“I am fit and I will have to improve again and again because it feels quick.”
Defour added: “In Belgium it’s slower. Here it goes from one side (of the pitch) to the other really fast, in Belgium there is more resting.
“But I have played Champions League and I have played international level, so it’s similar - but I have to do it every week now.
“I have to adapt and then my physical (condition) will go up automatically.”
Meanwhile, the midfielder is looking forward to linking up with Gray every week with the hope that his own experience and the striker’s goals can keep the Clarets in the top flight.
“It’s good to have someone fast in front of me so I can get a good pass to him, which happened today,” he said.
“I hope we can see a lot of that in the next weeks.
“We have a lot of games ahead of us and we’re looking game after game.
“I think I can bring my experience and the ability to keep the ball in the team, trying to be as good as I can.
“I hope we stay in the Premier League - that’s the big goal.”