Wembley hero Wade Elliott is delighted to see Burnley back in the Premier League – and fancies the Clarets for an FA Cup run.
Elliott is well placed to judge the Clarets’ fourth round tie with Bristol City this weekend, having recently left the Robins in his capacity as U21 coach.
And following a recent return to Turf Moor, along with former captain Steve Caldwell, Elliott was happy to see the club in such “strong health”.
Elliott and former skipper Steve Caldwell, back at Turf Moor last Christmas
He told Burnleyfc.com: “It’s two clubs that I have really good ties with and had success with. Both are close to me, but to be honest I think Bristol City at the minute have bigger things to focus on.
“As for Burnley, you would half fancy them to have a decent cup run. You can imagine them going anywhere and getting a result, and if they get anyone at home they fancy themselves.
“I know what the atmosphere there is like when it gets going, so I do fancy them to go well this season and it would be brilliant if they did.
“I feel they are secure enough in the league that they can invest a bit of focus and energy into the cup and the town would take off if they went a long way.”
Elliott, who made approaching 300 appearances for the Clarets between 2005-11, and played his part in the club’s first promotion to the Premier League in 2009, added: “They have stepped it up this season, from what I’ve seen on TV.
Wade's Wembley winner in 2009
“The only game I’ve seen live is when I came back with Steve to the Middlesbrough game.
“We loved being back because whenever we do, people there look after you so well and is so happy to see you.
“It’s that sort of club really, and it was just brilliant. The atmosphere was exactly the same and the team looked really, really strong.
“The squad is probably the strongest it’s been and they know what the division is about now. They have had experience of it before and I don’t want to tempt fate, but they look in a really good position.
“Steve and I were sat there and even to think that our squad played a small part in laying some foundations was very warming.
“We were both buzzing to see the club in such strong health.”
City arrive at Turf Moor having lost eight successive Championship games, but finding solace in the cup, where they defeated Fleetwood in a replay to set up the Turf moor tie.
Elliott added: “I still live close to the stadium and it’s real City heartland, so you can’t avoid people talking about it and picking up a sense of what’s going on.
“The stadium is great and they have invested really heavily in the squad, so it’s hard to put your finger on why it’s not really happening for them.
“But the club is set up to go forwards and that’s been the ambition for some time, now, so I’m sure they won’t let it carry on.”
The former Robins’ wide man was appointed U21 coach at Ashton Gate under Steve Cotterill.
But he quit ties with the club last summer following the appointment of current boss Lee Johnson.
He explained: “At the end of the season I met the manager and he said he wanted to bring in a really experienced coach and Pro-Licence holder to coach the U21s.
“I'm realistic enough to understand how football works sometimes and that was his prerogative.
“Sometimes, when a new man comes in, they want to bring in their own people.
“We had a bit of success and six or seven of my squad have made their debuts now, so I've no quibbles and I am quite proud of how it went.
“I enjoyed working with and improving players and I've developed a bit of a passion for it.”