CLARETS boss Eddie Howe insists there is no fear factor as his young side look to improve their home form in the Lancashire derby against Blackpool on Saturday night (kick-off 5-20 p.m.).
Burnley have won one once in six league games at Turf Moor so far this season – a run that stretches to eight, including the last two games of last term.
Expectations are always high at home, and there is an added pressure that comes with that, but Howe feels his players can more than cope with that, and make the place feared again.
He said: “You should love playing at home, you should look forward to it, but that comes with results.
“You build a belief and a confidence that you’re going to win every game.
“I don’t think we’ve quite reached that point yet.
“I’m sure we can do, and I know when we do, the supporters will back us to the hilt, but they need to see us perform.
“I think we’ve been slightly unfortunate with results at home. I think we’ve deserved to win perhaps a couple more than we have.
“In our last home game against Reading we didn’t really perform, so we’ll be looking to put that right.
“We’ve had some tough fixtures, but our home form’s so important to us, we need to get it right.
“We’re desperate to perform in front of our own supporters.”
Howe added: “I don’t think there’s any fear of playing at home. Things can change so quickly.
“If you get an early goal, for example, there’ll be no problem.
“The fans can certainly help in that respect by really getting behind the players in the first minute, and sticking with us through any bad patches, because, ultimately, you can’t dominate a game for 90 minutes. The Forest game, where we had a great start, you could tell it was going to be a special night by the feeling within the ground.
“We want to make it as difficult as we can for Blackpool, I’m sure they’ll have good numbers travelling with them as well.”
Told he has a 100% record in Lancashire derbies, Howe smiled, looking back on his only other experience – a 2-1 win at Preston in March, but he is excited by a first outing against Blackpool.
He said: “For a number of reasons, I think it’s a great game for the local interest, and the interest from the outside as well.
“It’s a massive game in the calendar. It’s a game we’re looking forward to, and hopefully we can get Turf Moor rocking.
“Everyone appreciates how big game it is and I’m looking forward to sampling the atmosphere for the first time. I’m sure it will be great.
“The Preston game was fantastic. The atmosphere in the game was electric and the away support we took that day was second to none. A similar result would be nice.”
The meeting is the first between the clubs in two and a half years, since Burnley won 1-0 at Bloomfield Road on the way to promotion to the Premier League.
Since then, of course, Blackpool have also sampled life at the top table, and both clubs are readjusting to life back in the Championship.
Howe said: “Both clubs have similar stories really. Both sides have fallen out of the Premier League and the expectation is there from everyone within the clubs to try and get back there.
“But it is easier said than done, and both clubs now are trying to rebuild and are looking to try to make an assault to get promotion.
“We’ve had such a big turnover of players this summer that our rebuilding job is probably slightly bigger.
“But we do believe in the players we have here. I’m a firm believer that we will have success.
“It may take a little bit of time to get where we want to be, because we’re still not the finished article, but when you have the type of changes that we’ve had - not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well – it does take time for things to bed in.
“We’re still in the process of building what we want.”
Howe welcomes back Junior Stanislas, who was cup-tied at Cardiff in midweek, but other than that, he is working with the same squad, with Michael Duff, Brian Jensen, Martin Paterson and Danny Ings all out, although there is promising developments: “Michael Duff’s been training in the early part of this week, so it’s just a case of fitness and time now with Duffo. He’s close and I’m happy that he’s making really good progress.
“Pato’s doing everything but training at the moment but he’s running on grass and getting his fitness levels up so we’re hopeful he’s not too far away.”