Dean Marney is delighted to be over the injury heart-break of his last Premier League campaign and believes this season’s Burnley squad is stronger than ever.
The midfielder picked up a serious knee injury in February, 2015 that saw him miss the closing months of the Clarets’ ultimately unsuccessful fight against relegation.
Now back in the top flight and injury-free, the 32-year-old is eager to carry on his and the team’s good start to the season that has seen him start every league game.
Marney said: “Last time in the Premier League I played near enough every game until I got inured so that season was written off, which was a massive blow.
“I spent the second half of the season as a fan in the stands just cheering the lads on. When you’re just sitting there and you can’t do anything it’s difficult.
“I needed this pre-season to get myself back fit and my first aim was to get through that injury free. Ask any player getting through a whole pre-season without injury really sets you up for the season.”
Burnley strengthened in midfield during the summer, with the additions of Steven Defour, Jeff Hendrick and Johan Berg Gudmundsson.
Dean Marney is in his seventh season at Turf Moor
Marney insists the new faces have given the squad more strength in depth and have been instrumental to the successful start Sean Dyche’s side has had.
“Something we needed to do was strengthen, to give ourselves the best chance of surviving in this division and I think we’ve done that,” he added.
“All the new lads have settled in quickly. The lads we had here already try and help them to settle in as quickly as possible. When I came here everyone did the same for me.
“The new lads have done great and obviously with more options the gaffer has got the chance to play three in midfield which we have never had before.”
Dyche’s men have taken have taken 11 points from their first 10 games, a big contrast to the four points they had at this stage last time around.
Victory against Crystal Palace at Turf Moor this Saturday could see Burnley jump into the top half of the table, and Marney says that despite great belief in the squad they know they need to carry on the hard-work.
He added: “The belief has always been there and I think now we have a better squad, with more experience and more experience of playing in this league. It’s been a good start and that’s all it is, a start.”