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Burnley looks to revive past glories
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 05 - 12 - 2008

Burnley, one of the most famous names in English football, is on the march again and promising to bring the glory days back to Turf Moor.
Twenty five years since their last appearance in the semifinals of a major competition, the Clarets have reached the last four of the League Cup after a remarkable run in which they knocked out Premier League sides Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal.
The other three sides join it in the semis are Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Derby County. United beat Blackburn 5-3 and Tottenham got the better of Watford 2-1.
Burnley, managed for just over a year by inspirational Scot Owen Coyle, is also challenging for promotion from Division Two as it looks to end a 32-year absence from the top flight.
“To be talking about a semifinal shows how far we have come as a club, but we've still got a long way to go,” said Coyle.
“I really believe we are a work in progress. Realistically we probably shouldn't be where we are, given the finance and everything involved with the Championship with other clubs and the size of their supports, but we are there...on merit.”
Founder members of the Football League, Burnley were one of the country's big clubs for the best part of a decade from the late 1950s onwards.
With Jimmy Adamson and Jimmy McIlroy their outstanding players under the management of Harry Potts, the Lancashire club won the English title in 1960 and was runner-up in the league and the FA Cup two years later.
Turf Moor hosted European football in 1960/61 and again in 1966/67 when Burnley reached the quarterfinals of the Inter Cities Fairs Cup, precursor to the UEFA Cup.
By the end of the 1960s, however, Burnley struggled to hold its own among the elite as its golden generation of players reached the end of their careers and the abolishment of the minimum wage meant greater player movement.
Not since 2002 has it seriously challenged for promotion but that could be about to change under Coyle, who has quickly woven himself into the fabric of Burnley since moving down from Scotland, where he made an eye-catching start to his managerial career at St. Johnstone.
Turf Moor was almost full to its 21,000 capacity for the game against the Gunners.

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