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Dyche Eyes Bigger Picture

10 January 2020

Sean Dyche insists it is business as usual ahead of the weekend trip to Chelsea.

The Clarets have stalled on 24 points after losing all three games over the Christmas and new year period.

The fixture list does not get any easier in January, with games against Leicester City, Manchester United and Arsenal following Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge, where the Clarets are unbeaten in their last two visits.

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However, Dyche is confident his players will come through a tough run of games to prove their Premier League credentials.

He said: “Looking back at the Christmas period we lost all three games, but there was only one, I think, where people would have been disappointed, and that’s (Aston) Villa.

“If we’d beaten them, I think people would say we’ve had a good Christmas, sat on 27 points and through to the fourth round of the cup.

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“One game can mean everything. The other two games over Christmas; I think most might think we could nick a draw or better because Everton had a new manager and United are still United.

“Going forwards, we do have a tough run of games, but you do have to play them all.

“There are tranches of games which are very tough and we are in that now.

“We’ve just had Everton and Manchester United, now we have the next run coming up with Chelsea, Leicester, Arsenal and Man U again.

“Then we go on a different run to the end of the season where we only play three of the big teams, so you can look at it any way you like.

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“No games are easy, but statistically there are a group of teams that you are more likely to get results from, and that’s why the story from Burnley Football Club’s point of view is over a season.

“Patches within a season are for all the opinion and conjecture, the media and everything else.

“The reality is where you are at the end of the season and that’s what we work towards, and not getting too bogged down with the ups and downs along the way.

“You want good results, of course, and you definitely want good performances.

“We have plenty of experience of the ups and downs. We look to use that wisely, but we have reflected on things and we are still in really good shape in comparison to last season.

“That’s given us a base to work from, and now we have to continue to take it forward and get more points on the board.”

Burnley head to Chelsea with doubts over a number of first teamers, with in-form goalscorer Jay Rodriguez and right back Phil Bardsley both hoping to shake off illnesses that have kept them absent from training this week.

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In addition, Johann Berg Gudmundsson (hamstring) and Ashley Barnes (groin) seem certain to miss out.

Dyche mused: “It all adds to the story of a season. We were very, very unlucky last season and this one we’ve just had spells of unfortunate injuries.

“If you have them over a season and they are spread out, it doesn’t affect you as much, but when they come in chunks, with four or five players down for a few weeks at a time, then it becomes more difficult.

“It’s frustrating, but it is what it is, and we’ll get on with it.

“We’ve got a competitive squad. I’ve said that all along, and we think we’ve got players who we believe can go into the team, re-mould it and be productive.”

Kick off at Stamford Bridge on Saturday is 3pm and Clarets Player will have live commentary from 2.45pm.

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