Away We Go!
Boss praises progress on the road as Clarets close in on record tally
The Clarets are looking for another away-day special to carry them to Premier League safety.
Burnley have won more times away from home than they have had at Turf Moor so far this season.
Sean Dyche expects the return of fans to help redress the balance of results in the future.
But for now, the Burnley boss would happily take a sixth away victory of the campaign at Fulham on Monday night to guarantee the Clarets’ top-flight status.
“The stats have changed this season compared to the norm, with away form compared to home form – not just for us but for a lot of teams,” said Dyche.
“Often I talk about the margins and how tight they are. We’ve had a run of draws at home, particularly, and that can happen.
“On the other hand, our away form has been very strong, judging by our standards in the Premier League, which is not easy.
“These are all things that will iron themselves out when fans do come back in. Are the home fans going to give an edge to performances?
“I think in our case they will. I think our home fans over the years I’ve been here have found that real energy for the side and that real positivity.”
The Clarets will welcome back supporters for the first time in over a year due to the pandemic when a proportion are allowed back to Turf Moor – free of charge – for the final home game of the season against Liverpool on Wednesday 19 May.
Before that the Clarets face Leeds United at home next Saturday following Monday night’s trip to Fulham – whose 1-1 draw at Turf Moor in February was one of five draws in the Clarets’ current eight-game winless home run.
The visit to Craven Cottage gives Dyche’s side the opportunity to secure a fourth win in seven away games, which would kill off Fulham’s chances of catching the Clarets and relegate the Londoners.
Burnley then end their season at relegated Sheffield United and a hat-trick of away wins to finish their campaign would see them equal the club’s highest number of away victories in a Premier League season.
Dyche’s side won away from home seven times in 2017/18 and 2019/20 to secure top-10 finishes.
But their current total of five surpasses any other Premier League campaign and one more win at Fulham on the back of a record-breaking 4-0 success at Wolves – the Clarets’ biggest away win of the Premier League era – would mean a sixth successive season of top-flight football at Turf Moor.
“I think our players have grown in the sense of their understanding of the away task in the Premier League,” added Dyche, whose side is nine points clear of Fulham with four games to go and won 3-0 at Craven Cottage in the FA Cup in January.
“I think that’s obvious from a period where we couldn’t get that first away win.
“Every season since then we’ve got stronger – or around the same marks and I think that’s a good sign.
“I think that’s the maturity of a side which has been in the Premier League a bit longer and the way our players have adapted to the challenge of the Premier League.
“The last one doesn’t guarantee this one by any means, but I think we’re in good shape.
“I think the performance levels are right. We’ve got to stay on the details – because that’s cost us a couple of games – but when we get that right, as we did, against Wolves, we’re still a very, very competitive side.”