Boss Dyche is daring to look up the table

Burnley have come out of a run of four away games with an eight-point gap between them and the bottom three.

Monday, 20th March 2017, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:09 am
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But boss Sean Dyche admits he isn’t looking over his shoulder, and is daring to look at how high his side can finish.

With nine games remaining, including five at home where they have been so strong, the Clarets sit 13th in the table – a position anyone connected with the club would have taken before a ball was kicked this season.

Burnley are without a game until a week on Saturday when Spurs, minus Harry Kane, are the visitors to Turf Moor, before Stoke City make the journey north three days later.

The absence of an away win so far this term remains an issue, but, asked about the gap Burnley have generated from them and Hull City in 18th place, Dyche said: “People keep talking about that ‘clear’ idea, and I understand why.

“But we’re always on the knife edge of looking up the way, daring to look up the way.

“I don’t think we’re the real deal, there’s a lot of work we have to do, and we have to continue to go hard and do more with the details you have to to get points.

“But at the beginning of the season, I think our fans, the media, would have been surprised to see where we are.

“Despite our away record, we’ve given a good show of ourselves, but it’s only so far.”

The Spurs game will be a first home league game since leaders Chelsea were held 1-1 in mid-February – a gap of nigh on seven weeks come kick-off.

This run of four away games came about after aggreeing to switch the Liverpool fixtures due to Anfield’s new main stand not being ready, with the Clarets beating the Reds 2-0 at Turf Moor, before going down 2-1 last week on Merseyside.

And Dyche is glad to have emerged reletively unscatched from that sequence of games, albeit still without that elusive away win: “We knew at the beginning of the season when the Liverpool game got reversed, we’d have this tough run.

“A lot has been made of it, and we’ve taken two points and probably deserved more.

“We were a little aggrieved not to get what would have been a very strong point at Swansea, and I thought we deserved more at Anfield.

“We now have five of nine games at home, which doesn’t guarantee anything, but statistically we’ve shown sides have to go hard to beat us.

“We’re looking forward to returning to Turf, and to the away games – we just need that rub of the green.”

It remains to be seen whether Johann Berg Gudmundsson will return against Spurs: “I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see, it’s not settled down as well as we’ve hoped.

“Obviously Steven (Defour) can get some more work in, and a longer period to get him stronger.”