Clarets boss preaches positivity ahead of Foxes trip
Sean Dyche has urged his league leaders to seize the moment when they travel to Leicester City this weekend.
The Clarets face a stern test of their leadership qualities away to the Foxes, who are looking to bounce back from successive league losses for the first time this season.
And Burnley boss Dyche insists he is looking for his side to maintain their high standards, after leading the Championship for nine of the last 10 weeks in their most consistent spell at a divisional summit for 40 years.
He said: “There is still an expectation from within. We have set certain levels of performance that we expect and we’ve raised them and are pushing the boundaries, both individually and as a collective.
“We want to keep doing that, but in the bigger picture we are probably a surprise in that we’re up there at the top.
“That’s a marvellous achievement in itself, but we don’t want to sit back and think that’s it.
“We need to keep pushing and seeing where that can take us.
“In this league you have to be motivated and organised, but you also have to have that freedom to go and play and I think that’s a real good thing for us because of the difference in expectation no other clubs.
“I think we have that freedom to play with our shoulders back and chests out, so we’re looking for that this Saturday.
“We are right up there among the top scorers in the division and down there among the lowest conceded and that’s a healthy mix to have.”
Michael Kightly after his winner v Barnsley
He added: “We’ve had the added belief of going into a big game on the back of a win and we’re really looking forward to going to Leicester.
“As you can imagine, there’s a lot of expectation there after going so close last season.
“They have good playing staff and a good manager at a club that is a big club at our level, but it’s fair to say we have applied ourselves well this season, home or away, whoever we have played against.
“It’s important that we go there in a clear frame of mind ready to deliver a good performance because once you get that right there’s a better chance of getting what you want, which is a win!”
Third-placed Leicester face a huge week, with a midweek Capital One Cup tie against Manchester City sandwiched in-between next weekend’s trip to fellow promotion rivals QPR.
Meanwhile, the Clarets are boosted by the expected return of midfielder Dean Marney for the first time in a month, following injury.
Dyche confirmed: “We are back to more or less full strength. Dean has been long term, but he’s had a really good week with us and he comes back into the thinking, as does Keith Treacy.
“There is only really Ross (Wallace) at the moment who is long-term, but he is doing very well and is back out on the grass, so people are coming back and getting themselves fit and available and that’s important coming in to this busy period, when bodies will be needed.
“We are on a nice run of form and we have shown we are capable in this division. This is another chance to show that we can win games.
“Every game presents a challenge and never more so than when you are going away to one of the fancies sides, like Leicester.
“We’ve had a few draws and come out of that spell with a win, while Leicester have lost back to back games.
“Ours was described as a mini-slump, so I don’t know what you could call theirs!
“That’s how hard and tough this division is, but Nigel Pearson certainly knows that and his group will know that too.”
Commentary of the Leicester City game is live on Clarets Player from midday, with Phil Bird and Dave Roberts on commentary duties. And for a limited time, you can subscribe to Clarets Player until the end of the season for just £17.99. CLICK HERE for details.
NEXT MATCH AT TURF MOOR
Burnley host Blackpool at Turf Moor on Saturday, December 21 (3pm KO).
This is a SILVER category game, with prices as below:
Adults: From £28
Over 65: From £17
U22: From £15
U18: from £8
U12: From £5
All sale tickets can be reserved in person at the ticket office, at the Clarets Store in town, by telephone on 0871 221 1914 (opt 1) or online HERE.
Please note: Supporters cannot purchase matchday tickets for Block 3 in the James Hargreaves Lower. Tickets can be bought for block 2.
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Tickets are available in person at the ticket office, via telephone on 0871 221 1914 (opt 1) and online by clicking HERE
Tickets can also be purchased in advance from the Clarets Store until 5pm daily during the week, or from the Clarets Store in Charter Walk until 5.30pm.