Sean Dyche insists his players are ready to get stuck into a feast of football this Christmas.
The Clarets kick off their festive fixtures at Turf Moor on Boxing Day against Liverpool, followed by a testing trip to Manchester City two days later (both 3pm kick-offs).
Burnley round off three games in seven days with a first trip to Newcastle since 1983 on New Year’s Day.
And the Clarets boss feels his squad are ready to face arguably their toughest spell so far since earning promotion back to the Premier League.
He said: “I think we deserved more early in the season, but I feel we are beginning to show a presence on the pitch now.
“We can feel our way into a game and feel assured about what we are doing and getting more game understanding.
“I think that’s happening right in front of our eyes. The players are beginning to learn about the Premier League and the physicality and they are more at ease with playing at this level.
“We are learning tactically too and I think there have been some really good performances, but we still know the challenges.
“Even when you are showing quality in a game, you can still get hurt, so we need to try and find the balance to get the margins in your favour.”
Dyche faces good friend Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool side insisting the Reds - who have won three of their last 12 games in all competitions – are still seeking the consistency that took them within a whisker of landing the title last season.
The current campaign has been more of a challenge for the Reds, with the summer sale of Luis Suarez and ongoing injuries suffered by Daniel Sturridge the obvious setbacks.
Dyche said: “How do you define the real complexities of management?
“It’s strange when you take a team so far and so quickly last year, and to go that close and then lose two key players, for different reasons, makes it very difficult, even with the amount talked about that they’ve spent.
“The super-elite players now are not £20m and £30m, earning £100,000 per week.
“They are beyond that now, at £60m, £70m and £80m and £250,000 per week wages.
“Are Liverpool ready for that? I don’t know.
“Do they want to do that? I don’t know.
“One thing I know is they are still a very talented team; that’s how it looks to me, so we will certainly not be taking Liverpool Football Club lightly, I can assure you.
“We all know the realities of the job. Brendan knows that and I certainly do too. All the pressure comes when you are not winning and when you are winning you get pats on the back.
“That’s the way it is. There is a flexible time period when people will understand the challenges, and that’s the same here at Burnley.
“We didn’t get a win for 10 games but people knew we were going well and there were challenges there.
The Clarets first win of the season v Hull
“That would soon change if we didn’t get wins quickly after game 10 because people start to question you eventually.
Overall, Brendan has another newish group and he is trying to mould them into a team.
“There’s some real high quality there and getting it to click and work takes time and I am sure that’s what he feels.
“It’s difficult because the demand is not time any more. The demand is instant.”
Fans are reminded that Boxing Day is a sell-out at Turf Moor. Clarets Player will have full commentary from 2.45pm - and you can listen in FOR FREE with our 12 days of Christmas offer.
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