Clarets boss Sean Dyche previews Saturday's trip to Nottingham Forest
Sean Dyche insists his players are “buzzing to be back” after the international break and looking forward to the challenge posed by Nottingham Forest this weekend.
The Clarets put their 11-game unbeaten league run on the line at the City Ground, where the Reds have lost just once this season, but only won one of their last four games.
And Dyche, who could have a full-strength squad to choose from, believes his squad are hungry to show their table-topping credentials at one of the teams tipped for promotion this season.
Danny Ings on target last time out v Bournemouth
The Burnley boss said: “I think we have come through the international breaks very well so far.
“It’s fair to say I do like a bit of work, which the players had before they had a few days off, but there has to be a balance to the workload.
“The lads have rested well and I’ve liked the way they have looked in training this week.
“That’s the good things about breaks when they are used wisely. Players come back and they are buzzing to be back.
“I certainly feel there’s that feel around the group and although we are going to Nottingham Forest, who are a fancied team, it’s not a given by any means.
“But it does mean they are going there in the right frame of mind and the right physical shape to give a performance.”
Michael Kightly keeps the unbeaten run going away at Millwall
Dyche, whose side are unbeaten in two months away from home, added: “Every game is a big game when you are top of the league.
“But because of the break there’s a hunger for this game and, as we have found on several occasions this season, we are more than capable of challenging the wealthier teams of this division.
“The secret is to be competitive weekly and take that into longer spells and we have done that pretty much so far.
“The challenge is to go again and there’s no better game than away to Nottingham Forest.
“They are a big club at this level and they have a very deep, experienced squad. You would imagine that Billy (Davies) and his staff there have a group of players who can certainly challenge and I think there will be a big expectation at the club to do so.
“They are in amongst it now, and I can only imagine they will be up there when it matters, but this is a strange league and I stick with what we are doing and that’s my only concern.
“As I say, we have shows we are ready for the challenges and it’s important that we do that again this Saturday.”
Dyche welcomes back England U21 striker Danny Ings, fresh from scoring his first international goals this week and eager to resume his 23-goal club partnership with striker Sam Vokes, who was also on international duty with Wales.
The gaffer, whose only injury doubt is midfielder Dean Marney, (thigh) said: “Danny should be very proud and very pleased and we’re happy for him.
“A lot is made of the opposition and, without being too disrespectful, I don’t think they (San Marino) are at the level he is playing against on a weekly basis.
“But he has three lions on his shirt and he has two goals, which is a great thing in itself, and I know he is enjoying himself with the U21s and learning all the time. He has a great desire to improve and all strikers love scoring goals!”
Clarets fans are reminded they can pay no the day at The City Ground, although matchday prices rise by £2. Full ticket details HERE.
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