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Defour adamant the Clarets have what it takes to avoid the drop

By Mark Staniforth

Belgium midfielder Steven Defour is convinced he can make his long-held dream of Premier League football a permanent reality after inspiring Burnley's increasingly impressive start to the current campaign.

The 28-year-old turned down a more lucrative offer from the United Arab Emirates to move to Turf Moor in the summer and realise an ambition he had harboured since the days he had been courted by Sir Alex Ferguson.

While a move to Manchester United never came off, Defour believes his Premier League career can develop under Sean Dyche despite the inevitably bleak predictions of those who still consider his new side favourites for relegation.

Defour said: "When I was not yet at the club I got some information that we were favourites to go down, but then when I saw the way we were performing I was a little bit surprised about that.

"I thought we were going to have some difficulties because we were going to be fighting to stay up, but we are handling it very well and we have a real quality about us."

The Clarets' last-gasp win over Crystal Palace two weeks ago moved them up to ninth in the table and they have a chance to build on their recent success in their Monday night trip to West Brom.

Despite a succession of solid performances against the bigger teams - their solitary point in their travels so far remains their backs-to-the-wall display at Old Trafford last month - Defour believes the trip to the Hawthorns is in many ways more vital.

He added: "We're in a good position taking some important points from the big teams and that gives the team a lot of confidence.

"It's maybe even more important to win against these teams (like West Brom) because they are direct opponents to stay in the league. But I think we have gained the experience in order to play in these kinds of games."

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