Everton defender Michael Keane was desperate for the Clarets to secure Premier League survival

Everton's Michael Keane clears the ball
Everton's Michael Keane clears the ball
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Michael Keane was full of admiration for his former club after keeping a close eye on the Clarets' road to recovery in the Premier League.

The England international revealed that he'd been concerned for Burnley's well-being during the first half of the campaign, adding that he was desperate to see them survive.

The 26-year-old, who left Turf Moor in the summer of 2017 for a club record transfer, is grateful that he'll get the opportunity to face Burnley again in the top flight.

Keane, who made 108 appearances under Sean Dyche having joined from Manchester United, said: "I was desperate for them to stay up. I don't want to see them go down again. They've done really well over the past four months or so to get back up the table and get back to where they belong.

"It's been a good season for them by staying in the Premier League through difficult circumstances. I think they can be very happy with their season.

"I am looking forward to playing them again. It is always one I look out for. I am glad they will still be here.

"I still have some top friends there. It is not as if I don't speak to them now that I've left. I keep in touch with a lot and it is always nice to go back and see them."

Keane took some satisfaction in enacting revenge on the Clarets, who had done the double over Everton last season on the way to a seventh place finish.

The Toffees backed up their 5-1 triumph on Boxing Day with a 2-0 victory at Goodison Park on Friday evening in the penultimate fixture of the campaign.

"They did it twice to us last year so that was a bit of payback really," he said. "It's been a good season for us against Burnley.

"It's not like that, everyone knows how much I love the club due to the good things that happened to me while I was with Burnley. It's always nice to play against your friends and see familiar faces."