New Burnley signing Pieters has the Eye of the Tiger

Erik Pieters
Erik Pieters

Sean Dyche likes his players to have the Eye of the Tiger.

And new signing Erik Pieters showed he is made of the right stuff when he belted out the Survivor track, from Rocky III, for his initiation in Portugal.

The Netherlands international’s £1m switch from Stoke City moved quickly, with Dyche eager to have him on the training trip to the Algarve, and he was ready to show off his vocal skills in front of his new teammates.

Pieters smiled: “Of course – I sing ‘Eye of the Tiger’.

“I know the song, back in the day it’s a tune from when we came through at FC Utrecht, so I know the lyrics.

“My voice is beautiful and I think my missus is jealous!”

The move, from the initial contact to him signing a deal, took just four days to sort out, and he is happy to be back in the Premier League after Stoke’s relegation in 2018: “It happened quick.

“The week before Portugal I got a phone call, I think it was on the Wednesday that they wanted to have me, and then the manager called me and said he wanted me on the plane to Portugal by Monday.

“I thought ‘good luck with that’! But it all went really quickly. I had the medical on the Saturday night and on Sunday I signed, and Monday I was on the plane.

“I had a really good conversation with the manager and there were a few details to sort out, but I was really happy to come back to the Premier League and sign for Burnley.”

Pieters’ arrival caught his former Stoke teammate Phil Bardsley completely by surprise, as he explained: “It was all so quick.

“I arrived at the airport and he was like ‘what are you doing here?’

“I said ‘I’m in your team now’. It was fun and it was good.

“I knew a couple of the lads already but they’ve all taken me straight in.

“It’s a really good group to come into.”

But it is the other side of the pitch to Bardsley where Pieters has been brought in to add competition, to push Charlie Taylor, who had an impressive season last time out.

And Pieters is looking forward to fighting for a place: “I’ve not come here to sit on the bench – I’ve come here to play.

“I think competition keeps me and him absolutely sharp.

“He had a good season but I’m not here to sit on the bench. Let’s make it a fair battle and support each other no matter who is playing.”