BRIAN Jensen has told Burnley fans: “We need you more than ever!”
The Clarets take on Peterborough United at London Road tomorrow, on the back of the 2-0 defeat at home to Middlesbrough on Saturday.
And Burnley’s longest-serving player has called for patience from supporters – sections of who have been disappointed to see outgoings outweigh incomings over the summer as the club cuts its cloth.
The squad has taken on a more youthful look, and Jensen hopes the fans give the younger players time to fulfil their promise.
The big Dane said: “It will take time, everyone knows we have a young squad, and the fans need to stand by us, to help us out a little bit.
“It is a young squad, and they are probably not used to it the same way as the experienced guys, so they probably need a little bit more help.
“There’s been a transformation, the gaffer wanted a younger squad in, so that’s what we’re doing.
“All the players are good enough to be here, so it doesn’t matter what age they are, it’s just a bit of experience we’re talking about, but it will come. We’re trying to build a team for the future, so we need patience.
“The fans have to realise it will take time, so we have to take it as it comes and see if we can do something this season.”
The atmosphere was particularly low key against Boro, especially after the visitors took the lead after 10 minutes.
Sometimes supporters need to be encouraged by what they see on the pitch to become more vocal, but Jensen admits the platers need help when things aren’t going to plan.
He said: “We need the fans, especially when we have a young team, they’re going to look around and think ‘what’s going on here?’ when you can hear a pin drop.
“That’s no good, we need the fans more than ever, especially when it doesn’t go well.
“On Saturday, we were beaten by the better side, but we have to learn from that.
“Why is it only when it goes well that we can hear the fans? It is the other way round when we need them.
“I know it’s tough, but it’s tough standing on a pitch when you can hear people moaning, and getting booed off.
“As an experienced lad, I can take it more than the kids, but that’s why we need the fans more than we used to.”
After sitting at the top table in the Premier League two seasons ago, Jensen would love nothing more than to challenge for a return, but expectations maybe need to be tempered somewhat among the fanbase.
He said: “In the promotion season, we had luck as well. You have to work hard and we did really well, but we got promotion.
“We didn’t deserve to go down, I think, but now the fans have to realise it is so tough to get back up there.
“They need to be really patient. I’m not saying it’s going to take years and years, but it will take time.
“Their expectation is maybe a little bit higher than everyone else’s.
“We want to get back up straight away, but it’s not as easy as that. It will be tough, but we’ll do our best to achieve that promotion.”
In eight years with the club, the former West Brom man has seen a number of teams built, but he has experienced tougher scenarios at Turf Moor than the current one.
He said: “When I was brought in by Stan Ternent we had a squad of something like 36, but when I arrived, it was down to 15 or so.
“And when Steve Cotterill was here we had the assistant coach (Mark Yates) on the bench, but there’s a lot of fighting for places now.”
The 36-year-old is just glad to be back in the side after Lee Grant started the campaign with the jersey.
Jensen returned between the posts for the 2-1 win at Derby, and he said: “I had a chat with the gaffer, he knew what the score was, at the end of the day, I’m 36 and just want to play.
“That’s the main thing for me, and fortunately I’m back in the team.”