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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 10:52 GMT
Burnley plan for a bright future
By Pete Oliver

Owen Coyle
Coyle has made a great start as Burnley manager

Boom-time in Burnley might be putting it a bit strongly, but there are certainly signs of exciting fresh life stirring at Turf Moor.

A planned 20m redevelopment of the ground is underway, involving the building of a new stand with associated business, hotel, cinema and retail interests.

The dated Bob Lord stand is also in line for a facelift and as well as new dressing rooms and media facilities, money is being poured in to develop an academy facility at the club's Gawthorpe training ground.

Burnley hope to have the work finished by 2010 but progress on the pitch could happen even more quickly.

The appointment of Owen Coyle as manager last month has brought a breath of fresh air to a playing set-up that had shown signs of stagnation.

So far under Coyle, who was recruited from St Johnstone, the Clarets have been unbeaten in four games.

It would be great if we could get Burnley back in the top flight after all these years

Burnley chairman Barry Kirby

And while the club's board, recently strengthened by the appointment of millionaire property developer Brendan Flood, is keen to give the former Bolton striker time, they have aspirations of making Burnley a Premier League club.

"We are trying to get things moving. We have got some investment into the club and we think we have made a good managerial appointment.

"That's the plan. It would be great if we could get Burnley back in the top flight after all these years," chairman Barry Kilby told BBC Sport.

The onus will fall on Coyle and a squad he inherited from Steve Cotterill, whose near three-and-a-half year spell in charge ended last month with an agreed parting of the ways following a run of just one win in 10 games.

"There was not a lot wrong in the first place but we were just drawing a lot of games," said top scorer Andy Gray.

"We have managed to turn a few of those into wins, particularly away from home. Winning at places like Watford and Charlton breeds confidence.

"They are arguably two of the top teams in the division and we have to try and build on it and transform some of our away form to at home.

"We have started a bit slowly at home when it's normally the other way round. This season we have one of the best away records in the league and that's something we need to try and address."

Coyle appears to have brought a new attacking verve to the team, although his first two games at Turf Moor yielded just one goal and two points as Burnley failed to add to their tally of just two home wins.

"Sometimes when you draw at home it seems like a bad result but if you put it into context it is another point and if you can keep an unbeaten run going they are all valuable come the end of the season," Gray added.

Andy Gray
Gray has been a key player for the Clarets

The former Sunderland, Sheffield United and Bradford City striker is a key part of Burnley's ambitions with 13 goals so far this season, including four in the current run of three successive away wins.

"It's always nice to score and I have managed to score a few with Burnley," he said.

"I like the club environment and everything to do with it. It's a fantastic club and a great place to play and hopefully I can help bring a bit of success."

That may have come last season had Gray, who forms a potent partnership with Robbie Blake, not broken a foot at the end of November, when he was already into double figures.

After Gray's injury, Burnley failed to win any of their next 18 Championship games to slip from a play-off position to 19th in the table.

The Scotland international hopes this time round they can sustain their challenge all the way.

"I want to be in the top six. That's everybody's aim," said Gray.

"I have been up there before and if you get in there you tend to stay there for a bit, so it's a case of trying to remain unbeaten, chalk up the wins and keep runs going to try and get in there.

"I believe we have got a squad that's good enough to be challenging and one capable of beating any other team in this league.

"But there are probably 20 other teams would say that. There's hardly anything in it. It's about performances and actually doing it.

"It's so tight. Everybody is striving for that consistency and if you can get that you've got a chance."

SEE ALSO
Coyle named new Burnley manager
22 Nov 07 |  Championship


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