Jensen: Burnley will only be as good as 2009 team if they go up
BRIAN Jensen doesn’t need long to think about which team he considers to be better, given the choice between the class of 2008/09 and the current crop.
For the popular former goalkeeper, there is no contest.
“This team hasn’t got promoted yet,” he smiled.
Jensen concedes, though, that he may need to reassess his view at the end of the season, with the Clarets riding consistently high in the Championship all season.
“Ask me again after this season and we will see how it is.”
But the Dane, who left last summer after 10 years’ service at Turf Moor, has noticed a number of similarities between the two set-ups that suggest history may be about to be repeated.
“Togetherness by a country mile was the secret for us,” said Jensen. “We had a gaffer at the time who, even though a lot of Burnley fans no longer like the individual, regardless of whether you were playing or not could make you feel like you were the best in the world anyway.
“It’s a similar philosophy with the gaffer at the moment. He doesn’t use many players either.
“I don’t believe in a rotation system because it kills momentum. We didn’t have the biggest squad and used nearly all the same players all the way through.
“The manager now has got a good, solid squad of 18 players. And obviously they’ve got rid of all their bad goalkeepers!”
Jensen raises a wry smile, at his joke before turning to a more serious ‘what if’ scenario.
“There are a few individuals where it would be a catastrophic if any of them were to get injured,” said the Bury stopper. “But it’s like that through all the squads in all the divisions.
“At the start of the season we got promoted, we didn’t get a win in the first four games. Everyone saw us as relegation candidates.
“We had nothing to lose because of everyone else’s expectations.
“The gaffer and players have maybe seen themselves as underdogs again, or deep down they truly believe in themselves and don’t care what everyone else said.”
Jensen admits he was among the many who feared Burnley would be battling at the wrong end of the table this season, but he is happy to be proved wrong.
“I hold my hand up and say I was the first one to say Burnley would be struggling this season, but I would also be the first to congratulate them if they get promoted,” he said. “What’s happening at the moment is down to the players and the gaffer.
“There’s a lot to be said for the socialising and banter playing a part. There are some real characters in that dressing room with the likes of Dean Marney, Michael Duff and David Edgar.
“I’m pretty sure they’ve got a similar team spirit and togetherness that we had.
“I can see a lot of similarities.”
But from his own point of view, the play-off winning feat of 2008/09 will never be eclipsed.
“It was special, it was something extraordinary,” he said.
“It was unique and something you would be really honoured and privileged to go through in your football career.
“Nobody will ever re-create what we did that season.
“There were so many ups and downs – the League Cup semi-final. They haven’t achieved what we did yet, but they are on the right track.
“Fingers crossed they can keep going to automatic promotion, or worst case scenario the play-offs.”
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