George Boyd expects striker Lukas Jutkiewicz to show Burnley fans his true colours this season, backing him to hit the 20-goal mark.
Jutkiewicz scored six goals last year in pre-season after arriving from Middlesbrough, but failed to find the net in 10 starts in the Premier League before Ashley Barnes came into the side and made the position alongside Danny Ings his own.
The former Coventry man has netted another four goals this pre-season, and is the man in form ahead of today’s opening game at Leeds United (kick-off 12.30pm), and Boyd has backed him to prove his worth: “You saw in pre-season how good he is. His confidence is back and he’s scoring goals.
“He’s a 20-goal in a season striker in the Championship, so if we can get him back firing on all cylinders he’ll be a massive asset to us.
“He’s scored four in pre-season and he’s a big boy.
“After playing against him in the Championship in previous seasons I know he’s a big handful so I’ve no doubt he’ll score 20-goals this year.”
Boyd’s last season in the Championship ended in promotion with Hull City, and he knows the division well with previous experience with Peterborough United, and he expects a tough battle for promotion: “This league is so open. Everyone can beat everyone else at this level.
“It will be tough but I think that will suit us with so many games and our fitness levels. We’ll be fine.
“The experience of last year and playing in the biggest league in the world, as well as that pressure of coming up against the world class stars, will help us this year. “Everyone’s improved and have that year’s experience in the Premier League, so that can really help us.”
Burnley’s experience of playing at the biggest grounds in the country sets them up nicely for the trip to Elland Road, as Boyd explained: “It’s a big test.
“It will be similar to a Premier League game with 30,000 people there.
“The crowd will be on us from the start and as a new manager he (Uwe Rosler) will want to get off to a good start.
“Uwe has brought a freshness to them. He did really well at Brentford and he’s a good manager. He’ll get them playing the way he wants.
“But we’re the ex-Premier League team and we’ll go there with the confidence of getting a win and the good start we need.
“At Elland Road it will be a fantastic first game and I can’t wait to get started.
“We’ve come back with an appetite to get back into the Premier League next season.
“We’re confident we can be up there and get back to where we feel we deserve to be.”