Keane a better player for move to Burnley

Michael Keane
Michael Keane
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Clarets defender Michael Keane insists his move from Manchester United to Burnley has made him a better player.

And the 23-year-old attributes his improvement to playing under boss Sean Dyche.

Keane left Old Trafford for Turf Moor on loan on deadline day in September 2014, and agreed a permanent switch in January 2015, having made five appearances for United.

He made 23 appearances last season for Burnley, but the Clarets couldn't stave off relegation from the Premier League.

However, with Keane starting all bar two league games as Dyche's side have moved four points clear at the top of the Championship, Burnley are closing in on an immediate return, with 10 games remaining, starting with today's trip to Huddersfield Town.

And he has no regrets in leaving the Theatre of Dreams: "It was obviously disappointing not to break through at United but I think it was the right to make a decision and it’s been a good one so far.

“I’ve played a lot of games and I’ve got a good chance of going back into the Premier League, and I’ve improved as a player, so you can’t really ask for much more.

"Since I’ve been here the gaffer’s improved me massively, as have the other players and coaches as well.

“Playing a lot of games you’re obviously going to make a few mistakes here and there and as a young centre half I have done, but I’ve learned a lot more than maybe I would have if I was at United.

“No disrespect to a club like Burnley but last year in the Premier League I had to do a lot more defending than I would have if I’d played at Manchester United as well.

“I think I’ve definitely become a much better player and I don’t regret coming here at all."

The manager and squad know nothing has been achieved yet - being top now means little if they can't finish off the job, and Keane expects there will be a rough scrap to finish in the top two: "It’s going to be really close to the end of the season I think. We’ve been on a brilliant run - credit to all the lads and the staff here we’ve not let ourselves go.

“We keep working really hard in training and hopefully we can keep it going until the end of the season.

“Once you’ve been in the Premier League, while it’s devastating to be relegated the motivation to come straight back up was huge from all the players, and the gaffer’s done really well to keep most of the players from last year.

“I felt we had a really strong squad coming into the season and then with a few good additions we’re doing really well and hopefully we can see it through.

“Everyone knows their jobs and what they’ve got to do if they come onto the pitch. It’s the whole mentality around the club, the staff, everyone’s brilliant here. There’s no cliques, everyone gets on really well. It’s just a great feel when you come into training every day with a great bunch of lads, and I think that shows on the pitch.

“When we’re not playing well we all fight for each other and you can see that in our performances.

"We just do what we’ve done all season and look at one game at a time.

“We focus on the next game, that’s all you can do.

“If you start thinking ‘we need six wins’ it puts more pressure on yourself if you don’t. We’ve just got to take one game at a time and do the best you can. Hopefully the wins will come and we’ll get promoted, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

“We’ve got a great squad of people here as well as footballers. We’re all strong mentally, the gaffer’s been here and done it before.

“We had our blip in December, whereas maybe Hull and Middlesbrough are having it recently.

“Maybe they’ll get back into some good form. But hopefully we won’t have another dip and we can just keep going. We’re at the top now so we just need to keep winning games and see it through."