Bikey eager to make big impact

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New Burnley defender Andre Bikey is determined to make the most of his fresh start in the Barclays Premier League.

The 24-year-old has signed a three-year contract with the Clarets, who have reportedly paid Reading £2.8million for the Cameroon international.

"It is not everyone who gets the chance to play in the Premier League so this is a big opportunity for me. It is a privilege," said Bikey.

Bikey spent two seasons in the top flight with the Royals, but after relegation in 2008 missed out on promotion from the Championship in May after, coincidentally, losing to Burnley in the play-off semi-finals.

It was in the first-leg defeat at Turf Moor that his Reading playing career ended as he was sent off for stamping on Robbie Blake, and his subsequent reaction in ripping off his shirt and throwing it to the ground resulted in a five-match ban.

However, because of a technicality that suspension will be completed on Tuesday night when Reading play Swansea, freeing him to face champions Manchester United at home on Wednesday.

"I played two years in the Premier League," added Bikey. "You learn in every game, especially in the Premier League, so this is a good opportunity.

"It is true Burnley is not a very big club but we can start this year by doing well and become a permanent fixture. I am a part of that and I will give my best for the team to remain in the Premier League."

Manager Owen Coyle was keen to strengthen his defensive resources with injuries to captain Steven Caldwell and Michael Duff and believes Bikey fits the profile of players he is trying to bring to the club.

"He is a young man and a player that will continue to improve and I'm delighted to have him on board," said the Clarets boss, who has no worries about Bikey's temperament. "He is a talented footballer with pace and power, which we undoubtedly need at this level."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Andre Amougou
Steven Caldwell
Premier League
Manchester United
Robbie Blake
Michael Duff
Swansea City

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