We must go for it, urges Burnley boss
SEAN Dyche has urged his Burnley side to “go hard” in the last 15 games to reach their top six target.
Favourable results on a blank weekend for the Clarets meant they lost no further ground on the play-off pack.
Middlesbrough’s misery on the road continued, leaving tonight’s opponents seven points in front but still in sixth place, despite a run of five straight defeats on their travels.
And Burnley are going all out to make sure their luck doesn’t change at Turf Moor tonight, as they bid to bridge the gap.
“It really is a case of 15 games, go hard in every one,” said Dyche.
“That’s what we’re promoting to the players; nothing to lose, everything to gain. Go for it!
“We believe in playing to win – I mention it all the time. We talk about winning and how we're going to win, and it’s a great time for that.
“It’s not as easy as it sounds, because there’s always someone trying to stop you, but that’s our intention, to play and get as many wins as we can.
“Three points is what everyone wants. That’s what we’re searching for and the more of them you get you see where that journey takes you.
“There is an obvious relevance that if we beat them it’s like a six-pointer – you drag them back towards you.
“They’re that leap above us, so can we drag them back in and keep ourselves right in that hunt in the pack?”
Dyche believes the play-offs are still within range, but is refusing to set points targets.
“We came here open minded and we remain open minded,” he said.
“Fifteen games, three points from all of them would be ideal. We want to be clear-minded on every performance and get as many points as we can and see where that takes us.”
With Boro’s form in free-fall, particularly away from home, Dyche accepts they will be out to stop the rot, but does not view this as a bad time to face Tony Mowbray’s men.
“It is that balance. They’ll be smarting from an awkward run,” he said. “They have players of high quality and high value that they’ve brought in for good fees down the last few years.
“On the other side of that we think we’re ready and raring to go. We want to get ourselves right up there. We’ve got a great challenge now to chase and it’s a really important time for us.
“It’s an exciting run of games for us and an important run of games.”
Dyche is hoping Sam Vokes will be available for selection, after the weekend break gave him time to recover from the foot injury he suffered after scoring both goals in a 2-1 friendly win over Stoke last week.
“Sam is one we’ve got to be careful with but he’s winning the battle,” he said. “It’s just a kick and soft tissue damage so we’re letting that settle down. Duffo (Michael Duff) is still chasing to be fit. Ben Mee’s had a good week so we’re hoping his progress speeds up after a minor setback.
“There are a few knocks and bruises, including Ross (Wallace) that we’ve been monitoring.”