CLARETS boss Eddie Howe is determined to give the Burnley fans the success they crave next season.
Having made the move from Bournemouth in January, the boyhood Cherries fan is experiencing life in the North for the first time, and he admits he has been taken aback by the passion of the supporters.
And while he is not one to set targets in public, Howe, having settled into the job over the second half of the season, believes he made the right decision in coming to Turf Moor.
He turned down advances from Southampton, Crystal Palace and Charlton before taking the reins, and he is exciting about the opportunity he has been given, as he prepares for his first full season at the helm.
Howe said: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of the job.
“You have an idea of what you think the job will entail and what you’re walking into, but I don’t think you ever know until you get there.
“I’ve been given a fantastic opportunity by the board at Burnley and we are desperate to be successful.
“We’re disappointed with the end of the season, but it gives us more hunger to come back next year.”
Burnley finished a disappointing eighth in the table, having had the minimum aim of finishing in the top six after relegation from the Premier League.
But Howe wants to take that disappointment and use it to try to push the club back into the top flight – and hopes to take the fans on another journey: “You get a real sense of the passion for football from everybody in Burnley.
“You can see it just by driving into the town.
“It’s been a real learning experience for me and Jason (Tindall).
“I think we are really going to enjoy our time.
“Every time I’ve mixed with the fans you can tell how passionate they are, and how involved they are with the football club.
“I’d like to continue that link and keep everyone involved, get the fans with us and fighting for the same cause next year.
“We want to give them more good days than bad days.
“You realise the importance of the football club in everyday life and you don’t take that responsibilty lightly.”
With the responsibility comes the expectations of the fans, who, having tasted what the top table has to offer, want more.
Things have moved on from the promotion season and the Premier League, and Howe knows he has to build a new team to try and achieve that success again.
He has already laid a couple of building blocks in place with his January signings of Charlie Austin and Marvin Bartley, and Howe is looking forward to putting his team together over the coming weeks and months.
Pre-season will be a vitally important time for bedding down his ideas and methods, and given that time, Howe feels Burnley can compete at the top end of the Championship table.
Talking about managing expectation, he said: “It’s a difficult balance. We are absolutely focused and determined to do well next year.
“I’m not one for setting targets. Not publicly anyway.
“We’ll try to have a good pre-season and try to get the team together and organised and together and prepared and then let’s see how we do.
“I can assure everybody that we will be doing everything we can to be up there.
“But every other team will be saying the same thing.
“We do have to build again.
“It’s important that we build a team, starting from the first day of pre-season, that has the ability and the hunger and desire and all the attributes needed to be consistent throughout the season to try to try to put a challenge in.
“It’s a case of building from the bottom up.
“It’s a difficult league. We won’t be given anything, we have to earn it.”