MATT Taylor hopes Burnley’s performances will add extra spice to the Turf Moor atmosphere this season – believing home form could be the key to their Premier League survival.
Taylor announced his arrival at Burnley with a Spice Girls song at an initiation ceremony last week before making his first appearance for the Clarets in Saturday’s 8-0 friendly win over FC Grossklein.
The 32-year-old has considerable top flight experience with Portsmouth, Bolton and West Ham and wants to maintain his record of never suffering relegation from the Premier League.
The Clarets start their season against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in front of the Monday night Sky cameras at Turf Moor on August 18 and Taylor says home results could be critical to their chances.
“I believe if we can get Turf Moor rocking, teams won’t want to come and play there,” Taylor said.
“We obviously need to start that against Chelsea, it’s a huge game for us.
“It’s massively in Chelsea’s favour on paper but football is not played on paper.
“It’s a fantastic game, it’s on telly as well, and playing on Monday night is a completely different feel to playing three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.
“I assume everybody tuning in will think Chelsea will win, but we will obviously think differently.”
Taylor has been impressed by the camaraderie he has seen among the Burnley squad since his arrival at the club and hopes that will allow them to make a strong start to the season.
“What we need to do is get ourselves as quickly as possible into our stride,” he said.
“But we also know no seasons are won and lost at the beginning of the season.
“We need to put points on the board as quickly as we can but the season is a marathon. Hopefully we can put into fruition the manager’s ideas and work together as a team.
“One thing I have seen since I’ve been here is how important teamwork is. That speaks volumes because of where the club came from at the beginning of last season.
“What the manager has instilled in the players is a fantastic team ethic and looking after your team-mate. That can take you very far in this game.”
Taylor was quickly immersed into the team banter after deciding to sing a Spice Girls song when the club’s new signings had their initiation ceremony during the week-long training visit to Austria.
“I spoke to my wife and kids and asked what should I sing?” he said.
“The kids said I needed to sing something that’s a bit funny and a bit silly, and they had me rehearsing in front of them!
“It was great for banter, it’s the first time I’ve done it in my career, it was good fun but I can’t sing to save my life!”