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Dyche Demands Eye On The Ball

Burnley boss calls for full focus as Clarets seek cup shock

25 January 2019

Sean Dyche will remind his players to stay fully focused as they bid to knock tournament favourites Manchester City out of the FA Cup.

The Clarets led at City in a third-round tie last season before losing 4-1 and were then beaten 5-0 in a burst of second-half goals at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League in October.

Both times Burnley were in the contest and Dyche believes his side will be wiser from the experiences and fully aware of the need not to switch off against a City team renowned for exploiting any weaknesses shown.

“Earlier in the season they beat us. We fell foul that day of losing our focus after a refereeing decision and you can’t do that,” said the Burnley boss.

Ashley Barnes gave the Clarets the lead at City last season

“They jumped on that, they took their next two chances and one of them they fired into the top corner.

“They have that edge to them, they are clinical, you can’t give them a sniff. We did on that day.

“We were going along well at that point. Although it was 1-0, we had a couple of chances and we were well in that game and the feel of the game.

“We’ve learned from that, that’s for sure. You can’t switch off, they stayed clued into the game at all times. That’s one of the strengths that probably gets looked over.”

Although City are still in the hunt for four trophies and have lost just four times in 35 games this season, Dyche is confident that his side can give them a run for their money as they head back to the Etihad.

“It is two teams playing. It’s never a one-horse race because strange things happen. No one can quite put their finger on why they often happen in a cup compared to a league,” he added.

“They often bring a different feel, different momentum to the game, so let’s see. We go into it open minded. It’s going to be very tough, but everyone knows that.

Dyche, a semi-finalist as a player in 1997, has always maintained his admiration for the FA Cup, but admits there may have to be changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's fourth-round tie, with some key Premier League games to come and players looking for game-time to regain match fitness.

He said: “Our challenge this season, as every season, is the Premier League. People sometimes misrepresent all those things. It’s not about any disrespect to the cup – absolutely not – it’s just about the factual realities of a business.

“Burnley has become a recognised place outside of this area because of years in the Premier League.

“We’ve changed the team more this season, some because of necessity with the early start in the Europa League; some because of the ups and downs of form and therefore I’ve felt that I had to.

“The cup then sort of mixes in with that this year, whereas usually it would be more specific to just the cup.

“We’re trying to get everyone back fit, we’ve got some who are on their way back to fitness who need a real challenge of a game.

“My expectation is to put out a side that can play and perform and to have the intent and mindset to win a game.

“I always do that and I always promote that with my players. There are different ways to promote it but quite clearly that is the goal, to win the game.”


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