Aberdeen v Burnley: Alastair Campbell lauds Clarets' revival

Burnley manager Sean Dyche is interviewed by Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell is a great admirer of Burnley manager Sean Dyche
Aberdeen v Burnley
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium Date: Thursday, 26 July Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen live on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Scotland, live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Alastair Campbell is now more recognised as a Burnley fan than as the caustic spin doctor and speechwriter for Tony Blair's Labour government.

Campbell - who was by Prime Minister Blair's side from 1994 until 2003 - has long been known as an ardent fan of Sean Dyche's side, who will face Aberdeen at Pittodrie in the Europa League second qualifying round on Thursday.

"It's amazing how many people, when I bump into them, talk to me first about Burnley and our manager rather than politics," he told BBC Scotland.

The Clarets' resources might dwarf those of Aberdeen, but they still pale in comparison to the lavish wealth of some of their Premier League counterparts.

Indeed, they have spent much of the past six years bouncing back and forth between England's top two tiers - all with Dyche at the helm.

Last season, that patience was rewarded with a seventh-place finish and a berth in European competition for the first time in 51 years.

But Burnley's long-awaited voyage begins not in Spain or Italy, or even in Croatia, land of the World Cup finalists. Instead they travel to the north east of Scotland.

The journey might only be around 350 miles, but that did not prevent the English Premiership side being delayed to such an extent that they had to cancel their obligatory pre-match news conference. A Uefa punishment could follow.

Regardless, the trip holds special poignancy for Campbell, who is fiercely proud of his Scottish roots.

"I know some of our fans said, 'Oh, Aberdeen', but I think it's a good tie," said the 61-year-old, who was born in Yorkshire to Scottish parents.

"I'm the only one I know who is a Burnley and Scotland fan. It's perfect.

"I'd be a little bit disappointed if we didn't win both legs. Anything can happen but I would hope and expect that we'll win both."

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