Former Everton striker Danny Cadamarteri is warning his old team to expect a “very difficult” game against “dark horses” Burnley on Sunday.
Cadamarteri graduated from Everton’s Academy to play 110 first-team matches for the Club, including 50 starts.
He eventually left for Bradford City in 2002 – but not before etching his name into Goodison Park folklore with a thrilling Merseyside derby goal in a 2-0 Toffees victory 20 years ago in October.
The Yorkshireman played for a further string of clubs, including Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town and Dundee United, before hanging up his boots at the end of the 2013/14 campaign following two years with Carlisle United.
Cadamarteri has since made a successful transition into coaching and, after three years working at Sheffield Wednesday, was appointed boss of Burnley’s Under-18 team in July.
And the 37-year-old has been impressed with the Turf Moor setup under manager Sean Dyche, who has already masterminded a victory at Chelsea and overseen away draws with Tottenham and Liverpool this season.
“There is a philosophy inside the club about being resilient and hard to beat,” Cadamarteri told evertonfc.com.
“It is all down to the work ethic Sean Dyche has instilled, not just in the first-team but right throughout the club.
“I have only been here nearly four months and it surprised me when I saw where Burnley were now, compared to where they were a few years ago when I came here to play against them.
“They have made so many huge steps and learned from their mistakes when they were relegated in 2015, before coming back up last year.
“It is a club on the up. They go under the radar and the manager does not make any big noises. He just goes about his business with his staff.
“I think they are a little bit of a dark horse team. They have some extremely good players and are steadily establishing themselves as a regular Premier League side, which I think they will do this season.”
Burnley have lost only once in six top-flight matches this term, a record founded on their defensive obstinacy. The Clarets have scored at a rate of one goal per game but conceded just five times.
Nevertheless, victory for Everton this weekend would represent a second in succession in the league prior to the international break and see them leapfrog Dyche’s ninth-placed team in the table.
Cadamarteri has been keeping a keen eye on the Toffees from afar and is convinced Ronald Koeman’s side are poised to piece together a profitable run of form.
But, despite confessing his enduring affection for Everton, he hopes the Blues wait until after Burnley's visit to truly hit their straps.
“I expect it to be a very, very difficult game for Everton,” said Cadamarteri, who has won five of his first seven games with Burnley, to lead his team to second spot in the Under-18 Professional Development League North.
“The atmosphere here is really good, the first team is doing really well and as a club we are doing okay.
“I am looking forward to the game – and it is a tough one personally, because I have that element of blue in me!
“Everton have a lot of talent in their squad and I think we are all looking at them, with the players they have, and waiting for them to really click into gear.
“Ultimately, that is going to happen at some point. They are going to click into a gear and give somebody a hiding – that is inevitable.
“Hopefully, that won’t be against the club I am at!”