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Dyche: We're Ready For Christmas Crackers

22 December 2017

Sean Dyche insists his players are hungry for success ahead of a festive feast of football.

The Clarets face four games in nine days, with Saturday’s televised game against Tottenham Hotspur the first Christmas cracker.

And after harvesting seven points from the last nine, including back-to-back home wins against Watford and Stoke City – and three successive clean sheets - the Gaffer lavished praise on his players.

He said: “We’re progressing, you can see that. It’s beyond the league table; on and off the pitch the players are delivering performances and I’ve been very pleased with that.

“You want to look at the team in the tunnel and know they are going to give everything for the cause.

“It gives you a better chance of giving what you want, and I think we have that.

“They respect and believe in each other and the squad, that’s a really healthy position to be in as a team.”

The Clarets have maintained their top six position, largely thanks to their defensive resilience and an eye-catching 354 minutes since Nick Pope last conceded a goal.

And Dyche will be hoping for more of the same, while appreciating Tottenham will pose a threat to their current run of just one defeat in eight home games.

Dyche added: “They’re a fine side. I like what the manager is doing with his players.

“We have to be on our toes, like any other game, but especially for the upcoming fixtures

“There’s certain teams that have that little edge and Tottenham Hotspur are one of them.”

Dyche confirmed that defender Stephen Ward (knee) is likely to miss out, while centre back James Tarkowski begins a three-match suspension following his violent conduct charge from the Brighton game.

However, full back Matthew Lowton, striker John Walters and long-term midfield absentee Dean Marney are close to returning.

A quick turnaround sees Burnley follow up their pre-Christmas clash with a Boxing Day trip to Manchester United, where Dyche will hope repeat of last season’s heroics in a shut-out.

“They’re a strong side and can make changes across the board, so we know we will be in for a real afternoon of football,” added the gaffer.

“But these are the challenges we want and we have thirst for, so we look forward to the whistle blowing and we will be ready.

“We think we’re doing better on the road this year, mentally and physically, as well as our tactical approach and delivery of performances. We have to take what we’re learning with us.”

Burnley end 2017 with a short trip to Huddersfield Town on December 30, before beginning the new year by welcoming Liverpool on New Year’s Day.


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