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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Burnley vs Brentford: ‘Let that sink in’, Kompany says of squad as Clarets boss targets ‘something special’

Burnley manager Vincent Kompany says the growth of the Clarets’ squad since the end of their last Premier League season has been remarkable as he targets “something special” to rescue his side from relegation.

Second-bottom Burnley are 10 points behind fourth-bottom Nottingham Forest with a vastly inferior goal difference before the final 10 matches of their season, but Kompany has taken encouragement from the position the club was in following their relegation by three points in 2021/22.

“My life is like this: I look for any opportunity to do something special,” said Kompany, who led Burnley to the Championship title in his first campaign in charge in 2022/23 and will try to inspire their first win in 12 games in all competitions when Brentford visit Turf Moor on Saturday.

“This season can still be that. Why throw away the opportunity? It’s 10 games. We experienced something fantastic last year and there’s no reason why the next 10 games cannot give us that.

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“In the squad planning from May 2022, I had two players. Let that sink in. Everybody else was leaving.

“We built from that. We managed to re-sign Jack Cork, sign [Johann Berg] Gudmundsson and keep Jay Rodriguez.”

Burnley vs Brentford: Strikers to shine?

Kompany’s status as a legendary Premier League defender, winning the Premier League four times as a Manchester City player, has not been reflected in Burnley’s defensive record of 62 goals conceded this season.

Only bottom side Sheffield United have let in more, and Kompany says the bold attacking style of teams and quality of strikers makes life tougher for managers than it was during his playing days.

“Brentford have got Ivan Toney, Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo,” said Kompany, also naming the likes of Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke and Antoine Semenyo, Fulham’s Raul Jimenez, Wolves’ Matheus Cunha and Brighton & Hove Albion youngster Evan Ferguson among the forwards posing a significant threat.

“We’ve got players who can hurt teams. We’d like to convert a bit more – we could do in the next game, that’s what you have to believe.

“It’s good for football; there are more runs in behind. It’s a little bit more difficult to just sit back and defend because, tactically, teams understand how they need to create overloads and pin you in.

“Only Liverpool used to do the counter-press. City were doing it as well, but now every team counter-presses. If you just invite them to come on to you, it’s harder to get out than it used to be.

“By default, teams are being more aggressive – and they’ve got the profile [of players] to do it.

“I remember when I played, teams could have an advantage defensively and exploit teams. That doesn’t seem the case anymore.

“Defending now is harder because you’re defending bigger spaces. You’re exposed more often against these high-quality strikers.

“The real zonal, deep-defending tactics have, for many coaches, not given them what they want. It’s full on and everyone’s doing it. I’m just stating what I see.”



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