Boss Coyle relishing 'fantastic start'
Published : 17 Jun 2009 12:44:18
The Premier League newcomers returned to the top flight of English football for the first time since 1976 after beating Sheffield United 1-0 in the Championship play-off final at Wembley. On the opening day the Lancashire side kick off at Stoke, who stayed up last season, before Coyle must then prepare his men for the visit of United on Tuesday August 18, a home game against Europa League qualifiers Everton ahead of travelling to Chelsea on August 29 and then Anfield on September 12. "What a fantastic start to have. It does not come any tougher and we are under no illusions about how difficult it will be," Coyle told Sky Sports News. "But it is fantastic that we are even talking about it in same breath as Burnley Football Club and we aim to make the most of it. "We know what it is about and we will be ready to give it our best." After such a long wait for a chance to take on the best England has to offer, Coyle feels the Clarets' passionate fans can make a difference. "I think we are the smallest town ever to play in the Premier League - when Manchester United play at home there's more people at Old Trafford than in the whole town. So we know how big the gap is, but it is a challenge we are looking forward to," he said. "We had a terrific home record last season and we have seen with the season tickets the level of expectation already. "The fans played a part last year and we hope that continues - it is a terrific footballing environment to come in to and there is a tremendous tradition at Burnley. "I think the atmosphere at the club is conducive to that and on the back of that we want to try and pick up some points." Coyle maintains the Clarets can beat the odds and survive in the top flight for more than just a season. "I am sure we are everyone's favourite already to be relegated and as the underdogs that sits well with us," he said. "At the beginning of our campaign last year we were one of the favourites to be relegated from the Championship and we proved that wrong with the quality we showed last season. "We know it is going to be difficult with the pace and the power that the Premier League presents, but I believe it's a fantastic opportunity for my group of players and everybody at the football club to go and be involved in the best league in the world. "What we have to do is do ourselves justice and that involves a lot of hard work, which we are prepared for and we will be up for it." Coyle, who guided Burnley to the semi-finals of the Carling Cup and was linked with the Celtic job, added: "We hope to play football, we will not compromise our principles, we will get the ball down and play and try and win games. "In terms of planning we are doing that now and hopefully it will come to fruition." Burnley captain Stephen Caldwell feels his team can rise to the challenge. He said: "It is a very tough first six games, it is there for everybody to see, four of the top five, but you have to play them some time. "We will be very positive, and are looking forward to the challenge. "We need to try and get as many points on the board as we can and then we've seen off some of the so-called tougher games right at the start."