Sean Dyche knows his players must be ‘mentally right’ as they bid to launch an FA Cup run against League One promotion-chasers Peterborough United.
The Clarets have a chequered record in cup competitions in recent seasons and went out of the Carabao Cup at their first hurdle to League One opposition in Sunderland earlier this season.
But only once in the past four years has Dyche’s side failed to advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup – exiting early at Manchester City in January 2018.
And the Burnley boss is demanding the right approach to avoid an upset against the ‘Posh’ at Turf Moor on Saturday (KO 12.31pm) and keep that run going.
“There will be changes but it’s a strong team. It’s a team that can certainly take care of themselves,” said Dyche, who is also looking to halt a run of three defeats in the Premier League over the festive period.
“But, as we’ve seen before, you have to turn up. The big thing for me in these competitions is the mental side of it. If you approach it in the wrong way you will get beat.
“You can't take football for granted. I have a lot of respect for Darren (Ferguson) who I know personally. I think over the years at varying clubs – but particularly at Peterborough – he has done a great job.
“His team will be up for it. They’ve had a sticky patch themselves, but they will look at it as a free one.
“We have to look at it as a game where we go and deliver. We have to have a clear focus on delivering a performance and if we do that then we will look after ourselves.”
Ferguson’s Peterborough also lost three league games on the spin over Christmas to slip to sixth place in the table.
Like the Clarets, the league campaign will be their priority as they look to win promotion to the Championship.
But Dyche still wants to progress and although a number of younger players may be involved in the match-day squad, the changes he makes will largely centre around keeping senior men up to speed for a big second half of the season.
“We want to keep all the main first-team squad sharp, but the main thing behind that is to win the game,” added Dyche, who may hand a first start since October to fit-again winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
“We want to win the game and I’ve made that absolutely clear to the players.
“Our preparation is as good a prep as we’d have for anyone; the detail in it, the observation of the opposition and us delivering a performance has been as deep as it would be for anyone.
“Therefore, we want to make sure we win the game.”