WINGER Keith Treacy is hoping to pay back the Burnley fans’ patience with him by taking advantage of his new beginning at Turf Moor.
Treacy had become the forgotten man under previous manager Eddie Howe, spending the end of his first season with the club on loan at Sheffield Wednesday, before being banished to train with the development squad.
The Republic of Ireland international made only 19 starts last season for the Clarets after moving from Preston, and was hauled off by Howe either before or at half-time in four games.
However, new boss Sean Dyche has managed to integrate him back into the squad and a different approach appears to be paying dividends.
Treacy earned his first league start of the season on Saturday at home to Leicester, and although he was back on the bench on New Year’s Day at Sheffield Wednesday, he came on with devastating effect, scoring a sublime opener, winning a penalty and later hitting the post in a 2-0 win.
And the former Blackburn man said: “Me and the (previous) manager didn’t see eye to eye on a couple of things and I think everybody can see coming in and out of squads and playing 20 minutes here and 20 minutes there – starting games and coming off after 20 minutes – is not good for a player.
“When you get no confidence from him and you get nothing from the training ground, all you’re getting is hammered every week, it’s not what you want.
“Me and the manager fell out but, hey ho, it’s swings and roundabouts and it’s a new gaffer now, a new year, so hopefully I can kick on.”
He admitted it has been an unhappy time for him: “Of course. I’m a footballer and if I’m not playing football then I’m not going to be happy, but it’s all in the past now and I’ve got a good manager behind me who wants me to do well at the club.
“I’ve heard some of the things the fans say and they want me to do well and hopefully I can reward them for their patience.”
It was apt that Treacy started the new year in fine style, and he’s glad to see the back of 2012: “I’m absolutely delighted.
“There were a couple of good things in there but hopefully 2013 involves a lot of games in the Championship and hopefully another international call-up.
“Me and the gaffer have been working closely since he came in.
“We ironed out what problems I had and how I felt about the club and how I felt I was treated, and he’s put a lot of things right.
“He’s been different class with me to be honest.
“He’ll be the first to tell you I’ve put the hard yards in and I’ve done everything I needed to do – I’m not there yet regardless of scoring a goal and having an okay performance, it doesn’t mean I’m where I need to be, but I’m making strides towards it and I’m very thankful to the gaffer.”
And he accepts there is much more to come from him: “The performance is masked a bit (by the goal).
“I think I gave the ball away a bit silly a few times but I got the goal. People say I played well but I know myself there’s a long way to go yet.
“There’s a lot more to come. It’s a new year. I’m still not fully fit but the only way I’ll get fit is by playing games.”
• CLARETS winger George Porter has signed a youth loan with Colchester United.
The 20-year-old, who joined Burnley in the summer from Leyton Orient in a deal valued at £90,000 by a tribunal, joined the League One side as of New Year’s Day.
Porter, 20, came on as a substitute for Kem Izzet in United’s 3-0 defeat at Crawley Town.
Porter will remain with Colchester at the discretion of both clubs, although Burnley can recall the winger.