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Welcome back to the Premier League, Burnley

Burnley have returned to the Premier League, where they once were before under Owen Coyle's reign. This time will be harder, but the team are also much better equipped.

Jan Kruger

Welcome back to the Premier League, Burnley. Nice to see you again. You're looking well.

It's not been too long since the club were last here, guided up by Owen Coyle, who jumped ship midseason and let the club sink into relegation at the hands of the bizarrely appointed Brian Laws, and if you cast your mind back to that time, there was plenty of patronising going on. Stories about meat pies being made in honour of their goalkeeper, Brian Jensen, were widespread, as everybody backed them to go down but tuned in to see their plucky adventures.

And an adventure it was. Burnley were welcome guests in the Premier League, their most famous moment coming when Robbie Blake (one of three very aged veterans in the squad along with Wade Elliott and Graham Alexander) fired them to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United. They played good football, and battled hard, but in the end couldn't quite stay up, despite Portsmouth biting the dust hard and Bolton, Wolves, West Ham and Wigan all finishing on fewer than 40 points.

This time, staying up will be even harder. Fortunately, then, Burnley are far better equipped for the job this time around. With Danny Ings a revelation in the Championship, and Sam Vokes alongside him extremely effective too, the club has plenty to be optimistic about. Their squad is small, and will still need a very good summer, but they have the kind of key players who could keep any side up.

Former Manchester City duo Kieran Trippier and Ben Mee have also excelled in defence, although the club may well need another couple of bargains to stay up. Midfielders of all kinds will probably be on the list, as will be some experience in defence and possibly a goalkeeper. Unearthing another bargain like their previous £3m purchase of Steven Fletcher would aid them greatly.

With Sean Dyche a newcomer to the Premier League, Burnley have one of the better English managers in the country at the helm, and it could be an exciting time for the club. They won't be favourites to stay up, but there's a cohesion and an effectiveness to them that means they should be plenty of fun to have around, regardless of where they end up in May.