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We Can't Wait For It - Lowton

Defender ready for the challenge as Clarets look to make it a special night

1 August 2018

Matt Lowton is confident the Clarets are equipped to handle the occasion as European football returns to Turf Moor.

And he is backing the Burnley fans to play their part as Sean Dyche’s men bid to get past Aberdeen and reach the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

The two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg at a passionate Pittodrie last week as a near full house generated an electric atmosphere.

Lowton is hoping for similar on Thursday night when Burnley host a first European tie in 51 years.

And the Clarets’ defender says the team is ready for the challenge of trying to push home the slender advantage the away goal has given them as Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir await the winners.

“I think the expectation is growing on us all the time. The last few seasons we’ve had have built that up,” said Lowton.

“That’s what we play for. The expectation is there for us to go out and live up to.

“We can’t wait to get out there again. We felt in the first leg we didn’t play as well as we can.

“Going up there we were under no illusions we were going to have a tough tie and it’s going to be the same again on Thursday night and hopefully we can come out on top.

“They scored first and sat in, which is tough to break down. Getting an away goal was key for us and it’s going to be another big game.

“Turf Moor at night is always special, so hopefully we can give the fans another great night.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes spoke to the media at Turf Moor

“You could definitely tell their fans were bang up for it last week. It was a great atmosphere and it gave them a lift – especially in the first 10 or 15 minutes when they were right on it.

“It’s up to our fans to make it a little bit hostile for them and make it feel like we’re on top.

“It’s been a long time coming and we’re looking forward to it. We can’t wait to get going.”

Aberdeen again showed how tough they are to beat at home in Europe as they extended their unbeaten record in Europa League qualifiers at Pittodrie to nine games a week ago.

An early penalty, converted by Gary Mackay-Steven shortly after Nick Pope had gone off with a dislocated shoulder, gave the Dons the edge.

The Aberdeen players get a feel for the Turf Moor pitch on Wednesday evening

But the Clarets dictated in the second half against the side that again finished second in the Scottish Premiership last season and were rewarded with Sam Vokes’ fine late strike.

And Lowton believes that could be key going into the second leg.

“To get the goal was massive for us because they are going to have to come out and at least get an away goal for themselves,” added the right-back, who on Monday signed a new three-year deal at Turf Moor.

“Had it been 1-0, they could have sat in and they were good at keeping us out and stopping us having clear-cut chances, so the away goal was key to change the tie a little bit back in our favour.

“I thought Vokesy was brilliant when he came on and the finish was top-drawer.”

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