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Pope: Clarets Can Draw On Inner Strength

17 January 2020

Nick Pope feels the Clarets can draw on their inner strength as they look to get back to winning ways this weekend.

Sean Dyche’s men go in search of their first victory of the calendar year against high-flying Leicester City at Turf Moor on Sunday.

And the last line of defence is convinced there is enough experience and character in the dressing room to turn around their season.

“We’ve had a few defeats in a row and it’s a case of getting back on the training field and working hard to put that right,” said Pope, whose seven clean sheets this season is joint second best in the Premier League.

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“Working hard is the biggest thing. Everything is rosy when you are winning, but when you lose a few, that’s when you have to dig deep within and find your character.

“We’ve got plenty of that in abundance and hopefully the next win is just around the corner.

“We have done well in the last few years to stay in this league and keep picking up points and in the first part of this season we ticked along nicely.

“So, it’s a case of getting back to how we were performing then and getting back on track.”

Burnley sit in 15th place in the Premier League, ahead of the weekend games, three points ahead of 18th placed Aston Villa but only four points behind 10th placed Arsenal, in a congested lower half of the table.

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“It’s still tight and it’s exactly the same for all the other teams in and around us,” insisted Pope.

“One or two results can act as a springboard, but the season doesn’t end there.

“There’s still a long way to go and it’s definitely a bonus to be able to call upon past experiences.

“That gives you confidence in itself and can help you through difficult phases.

“You build your character going through those periods. We’ve all been here before, after losing a few games in a row, so it’s nothing new to us.

“It’s there to fall back on and hopefully pull you through. We all want things to change, so now it’s about staying calm and finding the best solution.”

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Leicester arrive at Turf Moor having suffered a slight dip in form in recent weeks, following a blistering start to the season under Brendan Rodgers.

Recent home defeats at home to Liverpool and then Southampton, last time out, have been countered by back-to-back away league wins at West Ham and Newcastle United.

Two wins in their last six league games have finally ended any hope of catching Jurgen Klopp’s runaway leaders, but still helped maintain a healthy 11 points gap ahead of fifth placed Manchester United, in the race for Champions League places.

Pope added: “Leicester have done well this season, and for a team like us every game is a big game.

“We know we are not going to blow teams away often in this league.

“It’s about nicking results along the way, on a consistent basis.

“But the big things for us this weekend are starting the game well and getting the performance levels back.

“I think they have dropped over the last couple of weeks, so we are looking for a big one and we know that if we do that, we’ll get the points we need.”

Kick off at Turf Moor is 2pm on Sunday. Clarets Player will have live commentary from 1.45pm.

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