As far as promotions go in football, Burnley’s 2013/14 success will probably go down as one of the more remarkable in recent history. The Lancashire side secured their return to the Premier League with a 2-0 win over play-off hopefuls Wigan to round off a hugely successful season.
The result means Turf Moor will once again be seeing top flight football again next season, four years after the disappointment of relegation following a solitary season in the Premier League after their play-off success in 2008/09.
The success is fully deserved for Sean Dyche’s men as they defied the pre-season odds to edge out tough competition from the likes of Derby and QPR to wrap up promotion. Despite not being among the favorites for promotion going into the 2013/14 campaign, the Clarets have been one of the most eye-catching teams in the country this season.
The impressive strike partnership of Danny Ings and Sam Vokes in particular has caught the attention of fans across the country, with the two forwards sharing an incredible 40 league goals between them so far this year.
Burnley have never been short of goalscorers in recent years, having had the likes of Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin among their ranks in past seasons. Austin’s departure to QPR in the summer would have been a huge loss for Dyche’s side, but Ings and Vokes have filled the void brilliantly this season.
However, Burnley’s quality at the other end of the field should also not be underestimated. Though Ings and Vokes’ heroics have grabbed a majority of the headlines, Burnley’s defense has also played their part in their growth this season, as they have the best defensive record in the Championship so far this season.
As with many successful teams, their home form this season has also been outstanding and has been key to their success. They have suffered just two defeats at Turf Moor – one of which was to table-topping Leicester – and the Clarets were actually unbeaten at home until that defeat to the Foxes at the end of March.
The promotion is a landmark achievement for manager Sean Dyche in is his first full season in the Burnley hot seat, two years after the disappointment of leaving his first managerial role at Watford, despite guiding the Hornets to a mid-table finish in the 2011/12 season.
He has built brilliantly on the club’s mid-table finish last season and worked well with the resources available to him to overcome setbacks such as Charlie Austin’s departure. It is important now that Burnley as a club remain behind Dyche and his players as the Clarets look to improve upon their disappointing showing in the Premier League last time around.
Dyche’s reputation in the game has grown significantly after leading Burnley to promotion and he deserves his chance to prove his worth as a top flight manager. Burnley must not fall into the trap of many promoted teams in the modern era of panicking and pulling the trigger on Dyche before he has been given a suitable amount of time to further the club’s progress. He has exceeded expectations this season and has earned the support of the club.
Burnley’s promotion also makes for a range of exciting prospects next season. As well as providing the chance for an English manager in Dyche to learn his trade at the pinnacle of the modern game, it also gives players such as Ings, Vokes and Ashley Barnes who have lit up the lower leagues in recent years their chance to test their skills against the very best in the world. The Clarets’ loyal supporters will be hoping it is just the beginning of a remarkable journey.