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Chris Wood says avoiding relegation must be main priority for Burnley

After achieving a top-10 finish in the English Premier League last season, you’d be forgiven for thinking Chris Wood and Burnley might be targeting a European spot this year.

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Wood's Burnley side has punched above its weight, but he predicts that will bring even more challenges this season. Source: 1 NEWS

But the All Whites star says the number one priority is always maintaining their prestigious - and lucrative - top-flight status.

“We start off avoiding relegation, that's the first [target],” he said.

“Especially with a budget of our size, we need to be doing that year on year. Ultimately you have to start off with the small blocks and not look too far forward, and tick off the small milestones as you go through.”

Survival will be arguably harder than ever this year, particularly with the strength of newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United.

But the 28-year-old is thrilled to see his former clubs back in the Premiership.

"It was nice seeing them both come up, I had great times at both of them.

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“West Brom have been up and down and have been in the prem for a long time so it was much nicer seeing Leeds get up there.

“It's been way too long, I enjoyed my two years there and I’m hoping to see them stay up for a long period of time. I think with the manager they've got they will be."

Many are tipping Leeds to be a fresh force in the league.

“They've just been a big club in the wrong division for a long period of time. And rightly so, because they were run poorly 15 years ago,” Wood said.

“But they're fantastic now, they've got a great manager behind them, they've got a team playing absolutely incredible. They're going to be a real force in the prem, they're looking to stay up and if not go better. It's going to be tough, we know it is. We have to win our games that we need to win."