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Ward Aims To Hit The Right Toon

Stephen Ward looking to find a way past Newcastle United at Turf Moor

29 October 2017

Stephen Ward hopes to see Burnley back to their best to get the points and the football flowing again at Turf Moor.

The Clarets have once more proved a tough nut to crack at home so far this season – just Manchester United and Liverpool conceding fewer than Burnley’s two goals.

Sean Dyche’s men are unbeaten in three games on their own patch but have only managed to chisel out one home win so far.

And Ward is now looking to double that tally on Monday night (kick-off 8pm) by finding a way past a Newcastle United side which has also started the season well – sitting one place above Burnley in eighth place – after succeeding the Clarets as Championship title winners last season.

“Any team that gets promoted is expected to be down at the lower end of the table. It happened with us last year and it happens with most teams that come up,” said the Ireland international.

“They are proving people wrong at the minute and we know it’s going to be a tough game.

“But coming back to Turf Moor it’s important we put on a performance and hopefully put some points on the board.

“I wouldn’t say our home form, but our home performances, have been a little bit indifferent and a little bit below the standards we like to set ourselves.

Stephen Ward is an ever-present in the Premier League so far this season

“At this stage last season, we’d one defeat at home and we’ve got the same again now. People are talking about the home form, but we’ve still picked up a decent points’ return.

“It’s just I think maybe our performances haven’t been the same as they were last year.”

Only West Bromwich Albion have won at Burnley this season, but West Ham and Huddersfield Town have also left Turf Moor with some reward.

Ward admits teams have perhaps learned lessons from last season when the Clarets won 10 times at home as the bedrock of their successful survival mission.

But he stressed that no point should be disregarded in the race for Premier League places.

The Clarets’ ultra-consistent left-back added: “I suppose they look at that second-season syndrome and teams maybe try and work you out a little bit more.

“That can do with people coming and setting up differently maybe to the way they did last year.

“That’s a challenge for us and we need to find different ways to win games and different ways to break teams down.

“We have worked a lot on that in pre-season and throughout the season so far.

“We’ve been a bit disappointed with a couple of the games. But one of the gaffer’s mantras when we speak after the game is that sometimes if you can’t win, it’s important not to lose.

“Although performances haven’t been what we would have liked them to have been at home we have had to stick in there and make sure we take something from the game, which is important in this league because every point is so vital.”


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