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Club News

Bridging The Gap

26 October 2018

Sean Dyche has challenged his players to again bridge the gap when the Clarets host Chelsea this Sunday (1.30pm KO).

Burnley face another stern test of their credentials following last week’s 5-0 defeat away to current champions Manchester City.

But after taking points off both sides last season – including a thrilling victory at Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the season – Dyche believes his squad can again rise to the occasion.

The Clarets boss said: “The ongoing challenge is how close we can get to these bigger teams.

“That’s not a negative statement, but we’ve been underdog many, many times and we have to use that wisely.

“It’s just that it’s a different measurement when you play these teams and everyone knows that.

!Last week (at City), the measurement wasn’t the scoreline because everyone knows there were some additional complications, let’s say.

“But there are a handful of clubs that it’s a different measure against and we are realistic about it and so are the players.

“We know they are good players, but alongside that we believe in developing a side to become very good players and I absolutely believe in what we do and so do my players.

“We’ve shown in the past and on numerous occasions that we can earn wins off these teams.

“It’s just that statistically it’s more difficult, but there is a badge of honour when you take points off these teams.

“The main thing is reminding the players about the level of our performance and how important that is. Performances over a season will pay you back and we’ve been a bit up and down with that – even during games – so consistency is what we are looking for and we’re getting back towards that.”

Dyche will have the bonus of being able to call on Robbie Brady for the first time since suffering a serious knee injury at Leicester City last December.

The Republic of Ireland wide man has worked tirelessly to get back in contention and could feature against the Blues alongside the fit-again Steven Defour, who made his first start since January last weekend.

“Players getting fit can only help and Robbie is back in the thinking,” confirmed Dyche.

“The big thing for me was him getting the 90 minutes in, for reassurance, as much as anything, and he’s had his second 90 minutes this week and another really good week’s training.

“That’s three weeks now of constant training and played and that’s a good place to be.

“He’s still got to get his match fitness, but the main thing is he and Steven are back playing and Ben Gibson and Nick Pope are going nicely, so for the first time in a while, we are nearly with a clean bill of health, other than Wardy, who has had a clear out in his knee.”

Clarets Player will have full match commentary from Turf Moor this Sunday, form 1.15pm. Day passes are available, for new subscribers.

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