Burnley winger Michael Kightly believes the Clarets can continue to prove the doubters wrong in the Premier League next season.
The 28-year-old, who is on a season-long loan from Stoke City, scored a spectacular free-kick in Burnley’s promotion-clinching victory against Wigan Athletic at Turf Moor – his second goal in as many matches.
The Clarets were tipped by many for a season of struggle but have confounded the critics by securing a return to the Premier League with two games to spare.
And Kightly believes Burnley can continue to cause surprises next season.
“Everyone next year will probably write us off and that’s fine but we’ll get back to pre-season, work hard, and I’m sure we’ll surprise a few people,” said Kightly.
“Even when we went on that really good run at the start of the season people were saying they’re going to blow up, they’re not going to go the distance but we have done and we’ve proven a lot of people wrong.
“That’s been a mantra for us, and that’s why we’ve done so well.”
Kightly’s stunning strike, three minutes before half-time, was his fourth of the campaign and came three days after netting a superb winning goal at Blackpool.
“I haven’t scored as many as I would have liked this year but to get the two – one on Friday and one today – it was really important for us so I am delighted with that,” he said.
“Friday’s was really important and obviously today, to go in at 2-0 was massive for us because we played really well in the first-half and if we had gone in 1-0 we may have got a little nervy in the second-half.”
“The gaffer and the coaching staff talk about wide free-kicks all the time, aim for the far post and if everyone misses it, it goes in.
“I got good purchase on it and it was nice to see it fly in.”