Former Latics' midfielder looks for winning return
David Jones has urged Burnley to put Boxing Day behind them and bounce off the canvas at former club Wigan.
The Burnley midfielder makes his first return to the DW Stadium on Sunday, almost a year to the day since he made his last appearance there for the Latics, before heading out on loan.
And after a third league loss of the season at Middlesbrough cost the Clarets top spot, Jones insists he is fired up to get back to winning ways at Wigan (3pm KO).
He said: “We came into the Middlesbrough game with high hopes and wanting to build on beating Blackpool, but it wasn’t to be.
“It didn’t quite happen for us and now we have to bounce back.
“The next game isn’t too far away, so that’s good to get this out of the system pretty quickly.
“We have set high standards from day one this season and it’s a difficult one to take, but I am sure we will get our spirits up and the focus turned straight away to the Wigan game.”
David Jones challenges Arsenal's Theo Walcott in one of his last appearances for Wigan, in December 2012
Jones, who made 35 appearances for the Latics in a two-year spell between 2011 and his release in 2013, said: “I try not to get carried away with going back to old clubs, but I know a lot of people there and I will be up for it, just like any other game.
“It will be a difficult one because they have done well sine the new manager came in, so I’m looking forward to it.
“Being there was a good learning experience for me. I learned a lot, but I’ve moved on now and I’m looking forward to playing there for Burnley.”
He added: “We have the staff and players to not dwell on disappointments. The season is always a long one and there will always be setbacks, but if we want to do well it’s about how we correct them and we look to do that on Sunday.”
The Clarets hope to have defender Ben Mee available again for the short trip, after the left back missed out at ‘Boro through injury.
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Clarets boss Sean Dyche confirmed: “Ben had a minor thigh strain and we are hopeful he will be back in training over the next couple of days.
“We can’t risk players. With the low numbers we have, we have to make sure they are brand-new fit and with so many games coming up, there was just a doubt about the Boxing Day one.”
The Clarets will be roared on by 4,600 fans at the DW Stadium as they look to regain top spot at the half-way point of the season.
Leicester City took full advantage of the Clarets Boxing Day defeat to take over at the summit.
However, victory at Wigan, coupled with the Foxes dropping points at home to Bolton, would see Dyche’s side end the year back on top.
But whatever the final matchday of 2013 has in store, the Clarets boss insists he is proud of his team’s efforts so far this season.
He said: “The fans were out in force again at Middlesbrough and I think we are taking over 4,500 to Wigan, so we look forward to it and it’s onwards and upwards!
“The challenges are right there for us, just as they were at the start of the season.
“I think most Burnley fans would have taken only three defeats and I would myself.
“I have been very proud of the players on what they have achieved - and are achieving – and we’ll look to carry that on into the New Year.”
If you can’t make it to Wigan this weekend, Clarets Player has full match commentary from the DW Stadium from 2.50pm.
And with our special offer, you can now access ALL Clarets Player content between now and the end of the season for just £17.99. CLICK HERE for details.
The next game at Turf Moor is Huddersfield on New Year's Day.
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
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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