Dan Burn reveals ‘the only option’ Newcastle have in Carabao Cup final
Dan Burn will walk out at Wembley on Sunday barely able to believe he is part of Newcastle United’s brave new world.
Devastated to be told at the age of 11 his services were no longer required by the club he supported, Burn is determined to be one of the men who ends the Magpies’ silverware drought with Carabao Cup final victory over Manchester United to provide a springboard for sustained success.
Now 30, the Blyth-born defender has had made an unlikely return to Tyneside via the most circuitous of routes and played his part in a remarkable turn-around in fortunes, although he insists that simply making it to Wembley is not enough.
Burn said: “Hopefully this is the first of many. The new ownership and the way the club is approaching cup competitions is something which has not been done in the past. Hopefully there will be a lot more.
“I don’t want us to be happy to be here and if we lose, people say, ‘You did well to get there’. I want winning as the only option.”
To that end, the leadership group of which he is part, along with Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Ritchie, Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier, have decided against cup final suits.
He said: “It might not make any difference at all but mentality-wise, I want to feel as if we are not going for a day out. We are going to win. I don’t want it as an occasion where we feel we are happy just to get to the final.”
That determination is emblematic of Burn’s football journey.
Rejection by Newcastle was not the only bump in a road which was to take him from non-league Blyth Spartans to Darlington then Fulham, Wigan and Brighton, with a series of loan spells in between, before his dream £13million switch back to St James’ Park in January last year.
Indeed, as a teenager, he found himself collecting supermarket trolleys in a bid to make ends meet.
He said: “I was only working Saturday. It was £9-something. When I went to Darlington, it was YT at £55 a week – and it cost me £80 a week in petrol, so I was in debt to my parents for a long time.
“I crammed three or four of the lads in the car so I could take 20 quid from them just so it could help.
“But that all pushed me more. When I went to Fulham, I felt as though the lads who had been there since the academy had been given everything. I had grafted and felt that helped.”
All the hard work paid unexpected dividends when Newcastle came calling once again in the wake of Amanda Staveley’s successful takeover and Burn finally got the chance to pull on the black and white shirt.
He scored his first goal for the club in the 2-0 quarter-final victory over Leicester, prompting a dressing room dance which went viral on social media.
Dan Burn pulling out the dance moves! 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/m7e3z3gric
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 10, 2023
Asked how many times he had done it since, he replied: “None.” Asked how many times he had been asked to do it since, he added with a smile: “Hundreds.”
One of the few men in Eddie Howe’s squad to have played at Wembley – he scored in Yeovil’s League One play-off final victory over Brentford in May 2013 – Burn admits the chance to help end Newcastle’s 68-year wait for a major domestic trophy is one he feels honoured to have.
He said: “To have that opportunity to get over the line compared to amazing teams in the past, teams from Kevin Keegan’s era, Bobby Robson’s era, full of amazing players who did not quite get there, to have the opportunity to do it… I feel very lucky.”