Defender Mee – ‘It’s my best moment in football by a mile’

Ben Mee battles with Wigan's James McClean on Monday

Ben Mee battles with Wigan's James McClean on Monday

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Defender Ben Mee admitted he was emotional after realising the enormity of Burnley’s achievement.

The former Manchester City youngster can look forward to a return to the Etihad Stadium after the Clarets clinched promotion to the Premier League, and he said: “It’s an incredible moment, I got a bit emotional at the end when the gaffer was talking - we’ve put so much into this season, and it’s finally come to light. It’s amazing.”

Burnley have been in the top three since September, showing remarkable consistency, and Mee felt confident from the off: “At the start of the season when we were at the top and playing so well, we were taking that into every game.

“The team spirit and everyone pulling in one direction, it was fantastic to be involved in and to play in.

“It’s my best moment in football by a mile, best season. It’s been unbelievable, to work with this group of lads and the staff and everything,mots been really enjoyable. It’s fantastic.

“The lads have all pulled together and it’s more than I could have hoped for this season. I’m glad I’ve played the majority of games and stayed fit.”

Mee left City in the summer of 2011 to get first team football, and he is thrilled that, by taking a step back, he has been rewarded with a return to the Premier League: “It’s a difficult one, you want to step up, just this year has been fantastic. The lads have all pulled together and it’s more than I could have hoped for this season.

“This is an absolute massive bonus for me.”

Promotion was sealed with victory over Wigan, but Mee pointed to wins at the Turf over Nottingham Forest and Derby at the end of February and beginning of March as pivotal moments: “We beat Forest and Derby in quick succession and they were big tests, and when we went through them you’re thinking ‘we can go and beat anyone here, we can beat anyone at our place’.

“At the beginning of the season when we were up at the top with a great start, we believed all along really.

“From the moment we started playing we thought ‘we can do this’ but it was underneath.

“We weren’t showing it off or anything or talking about it - the gaffer was adamant we weren’t going to talk about it.

“But we believed in ourselves that we were going to do it.”

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