New Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is ready and raring to go in his new role at Turf Moor ahead of the 2022/23 Sky Bet Championship campaign.
The Clarets moved to make their first capture of the summer transfer window late last week, announcing the signing of highly rated attacking talent Scott Twine from Milton Keynes Dons for an undisclosed fee.
And it’s that blend of experienced heads and up and coming talent that could see Burnley make an immediate return to the top-flight after suffering relegation from the Premier League at the end of last season, according to Kompany.
“The ambition is always as you come down to go back up. Now, it’s a transition period and how we get back there,” he explained. “It’s about the recruitment you do and how you develop the players. Then, it’s not rocket science.
“It’s importance for us to have a balance in the squad; a mix of players that grow in value and exciting players as well for the football they can give us, and those players that can hold that culture together and what has made Burnley special over the years.
“It’s a team with some experienced players and depth in quality as well, certainly for the Championship. You always have to expect that some of your valuable players do need to move on. A few players earned the right to move on and from our side, we wish them well and we’re looking forward to bringing some exciting players in."
However, the four-time Carabao Cup winner recognised that the biggest challenge of all will be forming bonds between his new recruits and those already on the books at Burnley.
“That’s the hardest part – how quickly you can turn it around – especially when you’ve got new players coming in and new ideas, and still a little bit of uncertainty because it’s like this when a Club gets relegated,” he acknowledged.
“In terms of what I’ve seen the team do on the training pitch and how the team has been able to show that togetherness in the very first days, that’s one of the things we’ll take from the previous season into the new season that should help us.”
As the 36-year-old gears up to make his managerial debut in English football, becoming the first Belgian to take charge of an EFL side, Kompany asserted that he is well aware that his side haven’t got the easiest of starts to life back in the Championship.
Burnley face Huddersfield Town, who lost out to Nottingham Forest in the Play-Off Final in May, in the opening game of the campaign.
The Clarets then host last season’s Semi-Finalists Luton Town in their first home game of the campaign, before making the trip to newly relegated Watford.
“It’s a complicated start playing against some tough teams and teams that have been tipped for promotion as well, but you start difficult, you recover a few games later in the season and that’s not bad. It will give us a good idea of where the team is early doors and maybe that’s better.”
Having been appointed as head coach of Anderlecht on the same day that he hung up his boots in August 2020, Kompany linked up with Burnley earlier in the month, taking the reins from caretaker manager Mike Jackson.
And the former Manchester City skipper, who faced the Clarets as a player during his career, was impressed by a Club steeped in “history and tradition”.
“I was not in the need to go and look for another Club,” he noted. “I had different options. We just started talking mid-term, long-term and short-term. I met four or five people before even committing. It was how open that the chairman and the ownership have been that convinced me to come to the Club.”
He continued: “I’m still a young manager and when you’re a manager, it’s different. You rely so much on people around you and the time to work and develop and show the work you do. You have a choice between different pathways. You could go down one path where you hop from one Club to another and hope that you reach the holy grail because you’ve landed in the right squad.
“My contract reflects that I’m patient and I’m not looking to jump from one Club to the other. I’m happy to be here at Burnley for the long term.”