Date: 19th August 2010 at 11:31am
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Leicester make the trip North to Burnley on Saturday, still hunting for their first three points of the campaign under new manager Paulo Sousa.

We speak to Vital Burnley editor Phil Lea on his thoughts ahead of the game.

1. A good start for Burnley so far, wouldn’t you agree?

Yes, we couldn’t have asked for more really against two strong teams, Forest at home and Ipswich away. We are supposedly one of the favourites to go back up which brings its own pressures so very pleased the way we are playing at the moment.

2. Relegation last season was not the way a fairytale first season in the Premier League was supposed to end, but back in the Championship once again, can you do it all over again?

We have been told by the board that we have got stronger, so now is the time to prove it and equal or surpass our promotion of two seasons ago.

We are not in debt and have the parachute money so we should be able to have a really strong squad – I wish they would relax the purse strings a bit and bring in some bigger names.

3. Brian Laws was a surprise appointment last season, and by no means everybody’s favourite. Nevertheless, has he made the right noises in the summer?

I would say at the moment he is a bit of an enigma. If we continue to put in good performances and look capable of challenging for promotion he could win the fans over. Most are indifferent really but willing to give him a chance. Ask me again after the first ten games…

4. Losing Steven Fletcher in the summer has got to hurt hasn’t it?

Yes it does but we are hoping with all the money sloshing about from his sale and the parachute money, we will be able to bring in a big name striker – although time is running out and it may be a loan now.

We’ve been linked with Cardiff’s Ross McCormack this week and Nicky Maynard earlier in the summer amongst others, but so far only Chris Iwelumo has been signed in that department. Not a ‘wow’ signing but one that seems to have slotted in well so far and a striker who has already opened his account heading the winner against Forest.

5. Several established Championship players have walked through the door at Turf Moor this summer, are you happy with them all on initial inspection?

Of the ones that were offered new contracts only Robbie Blake upped sticks joining Susan ‘Judas’ Boyle at Bolton. He was a bit of a legend for Clarets fans and on his day can be magical, but he is getting on a bit and I wager he will not get too many games in the top flight with Notlob.

The players that have left this summer have not caused too much concern for Clarets fans. Steven Caldwell, Stephen Jordan, Christian Kalvenes, Joey Gudjonsson, Diego Penny, Nicky Weaver were all released but they are all OK-ish type players and wont be missed too much.

6. Is there any area of the squad that needs strengthening in particular with the window still open?

Midfield is an area we need to concentrate on. We have lost Chris McCann to yet another injury. He has had surgery to fix a cruciate ligament injury which has refused to mend and will be out for six months.

We have re-signed Jack Cork from Chelsea however, this time on a season long loan, but I still think we need cover in that area. I would also like one more big-name striker, as mentioned above.

7. Who should we be particularly worried about from the Burnley lineup?

Our new winger, Ross Wallace could cause you problems and big Chris Iwelumo will take some handling.

8. And who would you love to drive to their next club?

At the moment I have been impressed by all our team, although our left back Danny Fox can look vulnerable at times – but not enough to hire a taxi for him!

9. How do you feel Leicester will fare this season?

You have impressed me quite a lot since your Championship relegation season. You could be pressing for a play-offs place come May 11th, although I suspect a 7th-12th finish is more likely.

10. And finally, how’s this one going to end?

Based on our form I have to go for a Clarets win, but it could be close so I’ll say 2-1 to us.


Thanks to Phil for taking the time to answer our questions. Head over to Vital Burnley for more build-up to the games.


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