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Dyche: 'We Know We’ve Got To Be Right'

16 February 2017

Sean Dyche will ignore the statistical gulf between the Clarets and FA Cup opponents Lincoln City when they meet in Saturday’s fifth-round tie at Turf Moor.

National League leaders Lincoln will need to pull off a major shock to become the first non-league side to reach the quarter-finals in the competition’s history.

Burnley are bidding to reach the last eight for the first time since 2003 and go into the televised tie (kick-off 12.30pm) on the back of an unbeaten eight-match home run.

That includes a 1-1 draw against Premier League leaders Chelsea last Sunday but Dyche insists the favourites’ tag will count for nothing if not backed up by the kind of performances his players have consistently produced to claim 12th spot in the top flight and a place in the last 16 of the Cup for the first time in six years.

The Burnley boss said: “We were underdogs last week against a fine Chelsea side and delivered a very good performance.

“This week we are considered favourites, just for the obvious reasons.

“That doesn’t come into our thinking. We know we’ve got to be right and we know we’ve got to perform and we’ve done very well at doing that.

“Our application and focus on the next challenge has been very good, and that’s what we’ll use again.

“When you think about it, a lot of our players have had their own journeys, whether it’s been adversity through injury, whether it’s been re-igniting their careers, whether it’s been having a knock back to go forwards again.

“It’s not always been easy, so they know they’ve got to fight and they know the opposition will fight, so I think there is a clear-mindedness and quite a bloody mindedness to the way we work here.

“Our focus is on making sure we’re ready to take what we need to do to make sure we get through, and that’s our job."

Dyche was at Sincil Bank last Saturday to watch Lincoln beat Woking 3-2 to stay top of the National League.

And he insists his side will treat Saturday’s game against Danny Cowley’s giant-killers – who have knocked out Guiseley, Altrincham, Oldham, Ipswich and Championship high-fliers Brighton to reach the fifth round for the first time since 1902 – the same as any other.

Dyche, who has guided the Clarets past Sunderland and Bristol City to reach this stage, added: “I’m not going to change because it’s a cup game against a team like Lincoln.

“The way that we work has served us well.

“In fact, I’ll probably enhance that thinking. I’ll say ‘all the details are important, the mentality is vital.’

“The physicality is a given for us because we know how we fit we are, but we’ve got to be right to take the challenge on.

“If anything, we’ll enhance that ‘next game is the most important one’ kind of attitude.”

The Clarets will be without Robbie Brady, who is cup-tied, and midfielders Jeff Hendrick and Steven Defour through suspension and injury respectively.

However, January signing Ashley Westwood is available after the midfielder didn’t figure in Aston Villa’s third-round defeat to Tottenham.

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