Vincent Kompany insists his Burnley youngsters will come good

Vincent Kompany insists his Burnley youngsters will come good despite winless start to the Premier League season, saying his side is ‘getting ready to show they belong’ in the topflight

  • Burnley are winless in Premier League after cruising to the Championship title 
  • Vincent Komany is adamant his young side can adapt to life in the topflight
  • Click here to watch the IAKO Battle of Old Trafford YouTube Special from the Mail Sport Studios 
  • Mail Sport’s new WhatsApp Channel: Get the breaking news and exclusives here

It took two weeks in the job for Vincent Kompany to decide that he would become a better manager than he ever was a player.

Even if confidence has never been a problem, that was quite a statement he was texting to friends. They believed him though.

‘When he puts his mind to something, he leaves no stone unturned,’ one said — and this week Kompany’s mind has darted towards inflicting more pain on Manchester United. Burnley, the high-risk new boys who have lost all three home games, are waiting for their season to ignite. We could see the spark on Saturday.

There have been questions about altering his philosophy to secure more points — Monday’s creditable draw at Nottingham Forest saw them off the mark — but Kompany believes that this path is the route to survival.

The fleet of youngsters signed in the summer will, he asserts, understand the messaging far quicker than experienced heads could and so results will turn in time — and once they finish a daunting run of fixtures. 

Vincent Kompany believes his young Burnley side will adapt quicker to his footballing philosophy than more experienced players could 

Burnley earned their first point of the new season with a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest on Monday night

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Kompany is taking two 15-minute sessions in the classroom a week to mould this group in a way he did last season, when they blitzed the Championship from October onwards to finish on 101 points.

‘We’re getting ready to show we belong here,’ said Kompany. ‘We’re building. That’s a journey, it doesn’t happen in a month. With young players, you have two ways: you can wait and wait, or you just ram it (information) in. You take the pain in the short term and you see fluctuations in performance.

‘But once you’ve got that cohesion, it makes up for experience. Experience beats talent if there is no structure. But once there is a structure, talent compensates for experience. We’ve been a little bit exposed at times but I think we’ll have an exciting side this season. I’m convinced that we have players who will be around the better teams in this league in the future. The absolute dream is that they’d actually grow with us.’

Saturday night would be a good time to start, to kickstart a campaign against United just as they did in 2009 via Robbie Blake’s stunner. Kompany took questions about United, his old foe, with good grace this week and has spent so much of his time in England sticking it to them that one more would be no shock. 

The former Belgian international insists his side are ‘building’ after starting the season with three home defeats in a row

Kompany enjoyed success against Manchester United as a player, and admitted he almost signed for them before joining Manchester City

Whether it is his goal in the 2012 derby that led Manchester City to a first Premier League title, the FA Cup semi-final or the 6-1 at Old Trafford, Kompany’s memories are fond. United had actually once looked to sign him. 

‘When I was about 17!’ Kompany laughed. ‘Sir Alex Ferguson came to watch me live and it was probably the worst game of my season. Destiny had it this way: they always wanted to push me towards the blue side.’

He cannot escape the swirling talk around United, but Burnley have one point from four games and Kompany knows that needs to change quickly.

‘I don’t have time to look at what’s happening anywhere else other than Burnley. It’s not a job where you can be anything less than all in.’


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