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Club News

Clarets Aim To Be Toon Raiders

29 February 2020

Sean Dyche has challenged his players to smash through the 40-point barrier at Newcastle and then see where they can take their season.

The Clarets can equal their second highest points tally in the Premier League era with a first win at St James’ Park since 1976.

And with 10 games remaining after this weekend, Dyche feels there is still all to play for this season.

“Forty points strongly suggests that you are in the Premier league for the next season,” said the Burnley manager.

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“The first milestone is that 40 points, and for a lot of teams, ourselves included, that is our first train of thought.

“But you are always looking to better that, and once we get there we will re-assess and re-evaluate.

“We finished there last season, and we have a chance now to better that points tally.

“Can we go harder, longer and stronger than we did last season and get more points?”

Forty points is not the only milestone on the horizon in the north east, as winger Dwight McNeil prepares to make his 50th Premier League appearance.

The 20-year-old has been a virtual ever-present since breaking into the side just over a year ago.

And Dyche admitted he is enjoying watching the England U21 wide man blossom in a Burnley shirt.

“Fifty games and still only 19, turning 20 within those games, is fantastic and I’m really enjoying what Dwight offers,” added Dyche.

“As a lad, he is very humble and quiet and his dad, who was a footballer, seems to be giving him good advice, because he’s hardly changed.

“It’s nice to see him chirping up a little and getting involved in the group a bit more. His shoulders are back and he’s enjoying the banter a bit more as he gets more experience in the group.

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“But as a player, he’s a top young player and I believe in everything he is doing.

“We haven’t over coached him at all. We’ve guided him, but other than little details we’ve left him alone a lot and I love the fact he is enjoying his football.

“He has some good voices around him in the dressing room; people who I trust implicitly.

“They give him good information, and he is absorbing it. He is just a young man enjoying wearing the Burnley shirt and we just want him to enjoy his performances.”

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Dyche takes his men north looking to extend the four-game unbeaten run that has reinvigorated their season.

And he saluted the fans who are now getting their rewards for sticking with the team through a sticky spell either side of Christmas.

“There’s a good energy in the camp, but also in the town. It’s a very tough challenge going through a Premier League season and if you think you are not going to have blips, then you are very naïve,” said Dyche, who hopes to have top-scorer Chris Wood back in his ranks, following a hamstring tweak.

“Our fans have been very good with that and they know we are not going to sail through it, which is why they stand by us, historically.

“We will be well supported up there and the fans get rewarded for their backing, because this group give them everything.

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“We have our ups and downs, but this group give a lot to the fans through sweat on the shirt.

“They know they will get a shift out of the players and that will never go out of fashion, in my view.

“Fans still enjoy that and not many times have we let them down on that score, so we go up to Newcastle ready to deliver.

“Good runs don’t solve everything, but they do give you a feel-good factor and within that run there have been some big performances.

“There are still things we can do better; there always is, but it’s been the level of consistency we’ve found that has been pleasing.”

Clarets Player will have live commentary from St James’ Park from 2.45pm on Saturday. Day passes are available, costing just £1.99.

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