BURNLEY boss Eddie Howe insists his Clarets won’t be intimidated when they are thrown in to the Lions’ Den tomorrow.
Howe experienced the vociferous atmosphere at the stadium in South Bermondsey four times as a player, but has returned just once as a manager.
He experienced victory on three of those occasions in the old Second Division during his Bournemouth playing days, but was hit with a 4-0 defeat as manager in the Carling Cup in August 2009.
However, Howe expects his players to put the noise and intimidation to the back of their minds once play is underway.
“I think once the game kicks off, you don’t really think about it,” said Howe.
“They’re always good games and the crowd is always vocal.
“But hopefully we can keep them quiet.
“As a player, I had a decent record there, I definitely won there a few times.
“It was always an away ground I enjoyed going to.”
Kenny Jackett’s side are languishing in the relegation zone in the Championship, but remain unbeaten on home soil.
Howe believes it’s too early in the season to judge a team on league position.
“It’s very difficult,” said the Burnley boss. “They’ve got a decent home record already this season.
“I always enjoyed going there. You know you’ve got to fight and battle if you’re going to get anything, you’re not going to be gifted it.
“They’ve got a good squad there, they had a great season last year where they consistently got results and made some good signings.
“They’ll move up the table, so at the moment it’s a bit early to judge people’s league positions.”
The Clarets went in to September’s international break on the back of a 2-1 triumph at Pride Park against high-flying Derby County.
And Howe would love to break off for the upcoming international games following another victory on the road.
He said: “It would be good. It would be great to get another positive result so we can go in to the break in good spirits.
“We want an away result because our away form will be just as important as our home form. We want to be strong on the road this year.
“Hopefully we’re going to be as positive as we have been in our last three home games.”
And Howe is eager to continue picking up the points to reward the fans for their patience during a period of transition at the club.
“I think they’ve been excellent this season all things considered,” said Howe.
“When your team’s not winning and hasn’t won a home game for a while, I understand people will get frustrated, it’s a natural reaction.
“But I think they have been very patient, and stuck with us.
“We’ve lost some players we didn’t want to lose, and there’s been some big changes at the club.
“I can’t thank them enough for their support and understanding.
“I know the players feel the same way. The atmosphere on Tuesday was excellent, and I want to re-create that many times in the future.”
Howe is relying on certain partnerships within his starting XI to continue blossoming which he believes will help propel the Clarets up the table.