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Dyche Blanks Out The Noise

Clarets focus on job in hand as they look to end winless streak at Newcastle

31 January 2018

Sean Dyche expects the Clarets to shut out any distractions as they try to extend Newcastle United’s winless run at St James’ Park and get their own campaign back in top gear.

Newcastle have failed to earn a home victory in seven games – their worst run in the Premier League since 2009 when they headed for relegation.

Many of the home supporters are also unhappy with the ownership of Mike Ashley and concerned over a lack of transfer business manager Rafa Benitez has been able to do this January to boost his side’s survival hopes.

That could make for an uncomfortable atmosphere tonight should things not be working out for the Tynesiders, who are in danger of slipping into the bottom three.

But Dyche says the Clarets’ only concern will be matters on the pitch as Burnley look to end their own wait for a win and secure a first top-flight double over the Geordies since 1960/61 to cement their place in the top eight.

The Burnley boss said: “They got some good points on the board early on. They’ve had a bit of a challenge over the last run of games which, as I have suggested, can happen to anyone outside the top six.

“There’s a lot of noise been made from outside the club, and sometimes from inside, about signings or should they have signed more, or should they sign different players etc?

“But that’s all talk. For us, it’s to concentrate and focus on the game.

“They’re still a good side, they still work very hard, they’ve got some experience and an energy to their performances.

“Lately they’ve found it tougher to come by results, as have we. There are a lot of deciding factors in football.

“But all the noise outside the pitch, we let others talk about that.

“I can assure you, with the players, we’re focusing on when the whistle blows, the players being ready to go and play.”

While Newcastle have found positive results hard to come by, the Clarets are also without a win in seven league games.

But Dyche has seen his side pick up three draws away from home during that run and hopes positive performances will soon be reflected in more points.

He added: “We don’t take anything for granted. We continue not to take anything for granted because that gives clarity, knowing we’ve got to go and perform.

“Whether it’s against these fine managers or teams, as soon as that whistle blows we’ve got to show we’re ready to perform and we have made a good show of that over a season so far.

“We want that to continue and, of course, add in those little details that can turn it the right way and win matches for us.”

Burnley have a number of injury concerns to overcome, with defender James Tarkowski and ever-present midfielder Steven Defour possible additions to the absentee list, but new signing Aaron Lennon is in the traveling squad for the first time.

Newcastle rested a number of players for their 3-0 FA Cup fourth-round defeat to Chelsea last Sunday and, as well bringing them back into the fold, will also be able to give a debut to on-loan Chelsea left-back or winger Kenedy.

But Benitez – who saw his side lose 1-0 to a Jeff Hendrick goal at Turf Moor in October – is still expecting another testing evening against the Clarets as he looks to lift the mood on Tyneside.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid boss said: “They are a good team, well organised, they know what they have to do to get points, so I think it will be tough.

“But to be fair any game in the Premier League is tough. We know we have to do well if we want to get three points, and we have confidence that we can do it.”

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