QPR win gave us real belief, says Burnley defender Mee
CONQUERING promotion favourites Queens Park Rangers has given the Clarets confidence to keep on top, says defender Ben Mee.
Although the midweek cup exit at home to West Ham United ended an eight-game winning run, there is conviction around Turf Moor that it won’t stop their stride at the top of the Championship.
Burnley go into this afternoon’s game at Millwall three points clear in first place. Even if results were to go against them it would take an incredible goals swing to knock them off their perch this weekend.
But Mee and co are not even considering the worst case scenario.
“We’re going to go there in confident mood. There’s no reason why we can’t go there and win,” said the 24-year-old.
“The away result at Ipswich was a great result and that gave us a lot of confidence but to beat the favourites for the league at home and pretty convincingly – we put them under a lot of pressure and played really well – it was a real confidence boost for us.
“We went into the game believing we could beat them but we just proved to ourselves and to everyone that we could do.
“It was getting over that barrier of people saying ‘you’re not going to go on and do it’.
“It was nice to get that win and it lifted us that little bit more.
“It kept the momentum going and we go into the next game now full of confidence.”
The extra attention that comes with sitting at the Championship summit, and the increased expectation to keep picking up points, doesn’t concern Mee either.
“I don’t think it adds pressure because I don’t think anybody expected us to be there,” he said.
“I think we can just go out and play our own game again.
“We’ve shown before when we were top of the table and people were saying we weren’t going to stay there but we’ve beaten teams, including the favourites to go up, last week.
“We did the job and that just proved to everyone that we can go out and deal with the pressure of being at home in a big game.
“That’s the biggest pressure we’ve been under this season and we’ve dealt with it.
“It’s been nice to prove the doubters wrong, and the fans have really got behind us and they’re enjoying it, and we’re enjoying it as well and hopefully it can continue and we can go on and get a few more results.”
He added: “I guess we’ve proved people wrong, but we know what we can do.
“We’ve had a good start and we’ve got some good players here.”
They are enjoying each other’s company as much as their Championship crusade.
“It’s nice to come into a good atmosphere,” he said.
“Everyone’s very confident and happy at the minute and it’s a really nice place to come and work.
“The training’s been great, everyone’s full of enthusiasm and it’s a good environment at the minute, for sure.
“The more you enjoy it, the more confident you get the better the results, the better you’re going to play.
“It all comes from working hard and getting the results so that’s the basis of it then you go on to do other things.
“We’re just going to keep going and keep working hard.
“It would be nice to be up and around it and hopefully we’ll keep winning games.”
The Clarets have come a long way in the 12 months since Sean Dyche took charge, but Mee is mindful that more is needed to keep challenging.
“A lot’s changed, especially the style that we play. We’re a lot more compact as a unit,” said the defender, who has starred again at left back this season.
“The back five, for me – we go out there confident and not looking like we’ll concede.
“We’re just a good unit at the minute, working from the front.
“On the pitch it’s brilliant, the pressing game is working well.
“The gaffer’s changed some things and brought some ideas in, and his coaching staff as well.
“It’s all paying off at the minute and long may it continue. We want to keep that momentum going.”
Dyche’s 12-month milestone was celebrated behind the scenes ahead of Thursday’s training session, with the catering staff at their Gawthorpe training base marking the occasion with confectionery.
The Clarets want to keep having their cake and eating it in the Championship this season.
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