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Westwood Aims To Clip Seagulls' Wings

Midfielder looks to close the gap by extending unbeaten run at Brighton

9 February 2019

Pass-master Ashley Westwood has Brighton in his sights as the Clarets look to extend their unbeaten run at the Amex Stadium on Saturday.

Sean Dyche’s men go to the south coast having not lost in six games – a record currently only matched in the top flight by Manchester United.

That has still given Burnley only a two-point gap above the Premier League’s bottom three with those teams around them all putting up a fight.

But victory at Brighton – following on from a 1-0 win over Chris Hughton’s side at Turf Moor in December – will put them level on points with the Seagulls, who are currently 13th in the table.

And Westwood knows it’s a case of ‘more the merrier’ for the Clarets in the fight near the bottom as they look to extend an undefeated Premier League record in 2019.

“We’re on a good little unbeaten run at the minute and long may that continue,” said the midfielder.

“The Everton result (on Boxing Day) knocked us back a little bit, but we’ve shown what we can do in the Premier League to go on a run like that.

“I think only United are up there with us, so it does bring confidence and going into a massive at the weekend that’s what we want.

“To have chased down Brighton and get them within touching distance is a big achievement and we’re nearly there now.

“It’s going to be tough. They are a good side. They’ve had a good season, but they’ve petered off a bit and we wanted to drag as many teams into it as possible and I think we’re starting to do that.

“We’re still two points away from the drop, but I think we’ve dragged a few more teams into it, which is what you want to do when you’re down there and do the business ourselves.”

Westwood has been key to the Clarets’ upturn in fortunes, with 11 successive starts in a highly impressive run of performances in the centre of the midfield.

His 19 top-flight starts so far are the most the 28-year-old has made in a season for Burnley since signing from Aston Villa in January, 2017.

And he leads the way in terms of assists, with his range of passing contributing directly to five Premier League goals to date.

“This has probably been my best year for assists. For a personal note that’s one thing you look at,” Westwood added.

“Especially midfielders getting assists for the boys up front, that brings the best out of me and means the team’s performing well.

“Even from back in the early days with Crewe I was creating stuff and now in this team everyone knows each other and knows each other’s roles and I think that’s vital.

“Everyone is on the same wavelength. The strikers are reading things, and everyone is on board, which brings out the performances for individuals and the team.

“I’ve had to be patient. Last year the team was tremendous, so I couldn’t have any qualms about that.

“But as a player you want a good run in the team and thankfully, now, I’ve got that and I’ve got to keep on performing because if you’re not, we have lads who will come straight in and take your place.

“We’ve got a real good group now and that only brings out the team performance.”

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