Pieters raring to go at Turf Moor

Erik Pieters applauds the Burnley fans. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Erik Pieters applauds the Burnley fans. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Summer signing Erik Pieters is confident he and Burnley will enjoy a good season in the Premier League.

The Clarets kick-off tomorrow at home to Southampton, with Pieters vying with Charlie Taylor to start at left back.

The 31-year-old is looking forward to returning to the top flight, having been relegated with Stoke City in 2018, after five seasons in the top flight.

And he likes what he sees from his brief time with his new teammates so far.

He said: “I still kept an eye on the Premier League of course, even when I was in France and playing in the second division.

“I think the Premier League gets quicker and quicker every year. Better players are coming, but I’m looking forward to starting the season.

“It’s quite early for me to say because I’ve only just arrived. But this is a really good group, really strong mentally, physically, and we can play football as well.

I think we’re going to have a good season.”

Pieters goes into the season fighting fit after one of the toughest pre-seasons he has endured.

He was straight into the thick of things after signing, in Portugal, where Dyche worked his players hard, including his infamous ‘Gaffer’s Day’.

Pieters smiled: “‘Gaffer’s Day’ was lovely, I want do it again! But it’s part of his thing and it was good.

“It’s all part of it and it prepares you mentally and gives you that edge and give you that little bit more.

“When you’re doing it you hate it but afterwards you’re pleased.

“It was hard work but was fun. It’s good to get your fitness level up and get you mentally prepared for the hard work.”

Pieters has 18 caps for the Netherlands, the last five years ago, and it remains an ambition to play again for his country: “I will never say no but I know I’ve got to show I’m a good player and worth a place.

“We’ll see what happens.”