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'We're Just As Motivated' - Dyche

Boss backs winning mentality as Clarets prepare for Stoke survival battle

20 April 2018

Sean Dyche is backing the Clarets’ winning mentality to be on show again when they face up to Stoke City’s survival mission on Sunday.

Stoke are in relegation danger in the Premier League’s bottom three and with just four matches to go are running out of time to avoid the drop.

But the Clarets have their own incentive to perform at the Bet365 Stadium as they seek a fourth successive away win and the points that could take them into the Europa League next season.

Dyche said: “They have got a lot at stake at the moment and that can work either way.

“Some teams you have seen rise to that and some teams find it difficult and they have almost played within themselves, and a bit of lethargy can come from that kind of feeling.

“We flirted with that ourselves last season for a little bit and then came away from it and we went through it the first time we were in the Premier League and it’s tough.

“You can’t always flick the switch. It’s a human emotion to get out there so I don’t think we can over-think whether they are going to come flying out the traps.

“Our main job, as always, is to register what we’re going to do. I think I continue to see my team motivated and there’s no reason to question that and then when the whistle blows, that’s when the real work happens.”

The Clarets saw their five-match winning run ended with a 2-1 home defeat to Chelsea on Thursday night.

But Burnley remain eight points clear in seventh place in the Premier League – which will be enough to secure European football next season if Chelsea knock Southampton out of the FA Cup in what could be a pivotal few hours on Sunday afternoon.

And Dyche believes his players are hungry to keep reaching new goals as the Clarets close in on the possibility of qualifying for Europe for the first time in more than 50 years.

Ashley Barnes winner against Stoke in December took Burnley to fourth in the table

The Burnley boss added: “I think we’ve shown that even with us getting to the first big marker – which was obviously 40 points – that the players have still got the appetite to play and the appetite to win games is still there.

“I though it was there again against Chelsea. In the end they were too strong for us but the mentality was there.

“We want that to go into every game so there are no question marks over my group, I don’t think, to go into Sunday with that winning mentality because that’s what we’ve had and that’s what we want to keep improving at.

“That’s what I look for.”

Ben Mee and Scott Arfield will both miss the trip to the Potteries but Dyche is hopeful James Tarkowski will shake off a knock, along with a couple of others who sat out training the morning after the Chelsea game.

“There were a few didn’t train today but we’re hopeful they’ll be back out on the grass tomorrow,” he said.

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