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Clarets Aim For New Year Cheer

31 December 2015

Sean Dyche is expecting a stern test as his Burnley side welcome in the New Year with a home game against Ipswich Town.

The Clarets go into Saturday’s (3pm) Turf Moor clash on the back of successive 4-0 home wins, while Town have won all of their last five away meetings to propel themselves into the play-off picture.

Championship leading goalscorer Andre Gray saw out 2015 with a treble!

The latest of those came against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday at the AMEX Stadium - and Dyche is well aware of the challenges posed by a Mick McCarthy side.

He said: “It's a big challenge because they're a good side and I like Mick a lot. He's very honest, calls it how it is and his sides are always awkward to play against.

"But you could say that about virtually all of the Championship.

“We're looking forward to it, we're certainly enjoying our home form and how we're going about it.

"I've been pleased with ours recently and six points out of the last three games is a nice return from the festive period."

Action from Portman Road earlier this season

Dyche, who will make late fitness calls on Dean Marney and George Boyd, added: “Mick's teams in my experience are always organised and they challenge you.

“They don't lie down, but we think we don't either, so it makes for a really good Championship game and two clubs both vying to be up there.”

Meanwhile, Tom Heaton feels Burnley are perfectly placed to mount a promotion challenge in 2016.

The England international enjoyed a memorable 2015 after breaking into the England camp, but is keen to lay down new markers in the second half of the Championship season.

He said: “On a personal level 2015 was fantastic. I made a few strides forward and achieved a few milestones, but there’s always an ambition to keep striving to get better.

“On a club note, we had some good experiences last year and we want to take that on now.

“We feel we are right in the mix in the league and we all feel there is more there, so if we can bring that to fruition there’s still every chance of us having a successful season.

“The work the lads put in and the incredible fitness levels do, I feel, give us a massive advantage over most other teams.

“That’s a great foundation, but on top of that there’s a great mentality among the players and we’ve got strength in depth.

“I think all those attributes can only bode well as we go into the second half of the season.

“There’s a long way to go and we just need to make sure we keep raising that bar, individually and collectively because that will give us a better chance of getting results.

“If we can do that in the second half of the season, then we are only going to go one way and that’s upwards”

If you can’t make it to Turf Moor on Saturday, January 2, 2016, Clarets Player HD has full match commentary from 2.45pm. CLICK HERE to access all our content from just £4.49 per month.

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