Hero Blake happy to silence Burnley's critics
Robbie Blake hopes Burnley's amazing 1-0 win over Manchester United on Wednesday has shut the mouths of a few of his club's critics.
Already favourites to head straight back down to the Championship following their play-off triumph at Wembley last term, the Clarets looked even more certain to take the big drop after their opening day defeat at Stoke.
Yet Blake felt such comments did not take into account Burnley's performance at the Britannia Stadium, or their hunger to succeed on their return to the top flight after a 33-year absence.
In defeating the Premier League champions last night, Burnley have certainly made everyone sit up and take notice, with Blake enjoying the last laugh.
"It is nice to shut a few people up,'' he said. "Certain people have written us off so quickly. We were by far the better team at Stoke on Saturday but let ourselves down with a couple of defensive errors.
"Yet we got slated. Hopefully we have surprised a few people with this result and maybe there will be more to come.''
No-one could quibble at the quality of Blake's match-winner.
The 33-year-old was in exactly the right place to latch onto Patrice Evra's clearing header and let fly with a right-footed volley that flashed in at the near post before Ben Foster had a chance to move.
"It is a natural thing,'' said Blake. "You just have to keep your eye on the ball until the last minute and release it. It either flies into Row Z or ends up in the back of the net. Luckily, it went in.''
As someone who has experienced the intensity of Premier League combat at both Bradford and Birmingham during an industrious career, Blake knows how hard it will be for Burnley to retain their consistency throughout an arduous campaign.
But, after working so hard to achieve their status, he is desperate not to relinquish it at the first attempt. "It doesn't get much better than that,'' he said.
"When you consider what last season was like and then we get Manchester United in the first game this time around. It was fantastic and something we will savour for a long time. But more than that, is nice to show people that we are willing to work and fight to stay in this division.''