Turf legend Willie Morgan backs Clarets for Premier League survival

Turf Moor legend Willie Morgan says Burnley can draw inspiration from Leicester City's incredible title success '“ and make a challenge of their own in the Premier League.

Friday, 8th July 2016, 11:04 am
Updated Friday, 8th July 2016, 12:12 pm
Former Claret Willie Morgan pictured with his granddaughter at Haydock Park

Morgan is convinced that Burnley can not only produce the results to beat the drop next season, but that the newly promoted Clarets can make a real impression on their return to the top flight.

“Burnley can be in the top half of the league next season, and they’ll stay up,” predicted Morgan.

“When I joined Burnley as an amateur in 1960, they were the champions of England, and why can’t that happen again.

“Leicester winning the title has changed everything, they’ve broken the mould.

“Burnley will look at what Bournemouth and Leicester have achieved and that will give them a huge boost.

“They’ve won the Championship title through a fabulous collective effort – just like Leicester did – and to go nearly half a season unbeaten reflected that fierce resolve amongst the players.”

Morgan, who made close to 250 appearances during two spells at Turf Moor, reserved special praise for Clarets boss Sean Dyche.

“Sean has proved that he is one of the best managers in the land and the owners should be applauded for keeping faith in him,” he said.

“He has a rare ability, it seems, to get players believing in his philosophy and that’s the secret of a fine manager.

“I worked under the great Harry Potts at Burnley and he was a good man too, and like Sean a great tactician who the players loved and respected.

“It is a rare thing in football to get that blend right, but Sean has that special chemistry with his players.”

For a couple of years the Clarets were hanging on to the coat-tails of Leicester, first in a promotion race and then for Premier League survival a year ago.

“Burnley can take inspiration from what the Foxes have gone on to achieve more than anyone,” said Morgan.

“There’s nothing to fear and they shouldn’t be concerned too much about the clubs they will have to beat to stay in the division.

“After what Leicester have done, I don’t think staying up will be the limit of their ambitions anyway.

“They’ve come back stronger and better from the experience of relegation.

“They look stronger than they did when they went down last time and the club is on a sound financial foundation.

“The extra money they get from being in the Premier League these days will help them sign a quality player or two and the experience of being through it last year will hold them in good stead.”

One of the finest wingers in British football in the 1960s, Morgan was the first player to have his own fan club during his Turf Moor spell.

The Scotland international, who played for his country at the 1974 World Cup, made his Burnley debut in April 1963 at Sheffield Wednesday and a few months later scored his first two goals for the Clarets in a 6-1 victory over Manchester United at Turf Moor on Boxing Day that year.

Brilliant on the ball and able to beat opponents with his guile and pace, Morgan forged a reputation as one of the most feared wingers in the game with Burnley, Manchester United and Bolton.

“I loved it at Burnley and I had some wonderful times there – it is a very special club and I’m so pleased that they are back in the big time again.

“I still have a lot of friends there, including Andy Lochhead who I see a fair bit.”