Clarets midfielder focused on key home games

Midfielder Dean Marney insists the Clarets go into a huge home double header in confident mood, despite Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Spurs.

Dean Marney, left, and Jeff Hendrick react to Spurs winning goal on Sunday
Dean Marney, left, and Jeff Hendrick react to Spurs winning goal on Sunday

Marney felt the performance at his former club was a big positive.

And, on top of Burnley’s impressive form at Turf Moor, he believes the side have a platform to kick on against Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

Boro are first up on Boxing Day, before Sunderland make the trip down on New Year’s Eve, and Marney said: “There’s massive games coming up, as they all are really.

“But particularly at home against teams that are around the bottom end of the table.

“It’s going to be important.”

Burnley have lost five of their last six games, but are keeping their heads above water in the Premier League table, in 16th place, three points above the drop zone.

Home form has taken care of itself, winning 16 oftheir 17 points so far at Turf Moor, but they have only collected a draw on the road, at Old Trafford against Manchester United.

Marney is encouraged by what he saw at Spurs, and feels that elusive away win isn’t far away: “I think the gaffer has been saying first of all he wanted a performance away from home – we hadn’t quite got up to where we could do.

“We still lost the game at Spurs, but we can build on that.

“It was probably the best we’ve played away from home.

“The all round performance was against a very good side who are going to be challenging up there. It’s something to build on.

“You can only go by your last game and we’ve still lost the game, so it’s something to work on, but it was much more like us.

“That’s what we need to do away from home.

“Everyone had written us off there but we played with no fear.

“It’s all very well saying that, we have to go and do it.

“The first 20 minutes it’s possibly the best we’ve played all season, we passed it very well.”

Burnley led through Ashley Barnes, only for Dele Alli and Danny Rose to earn Spurs the points, though the Clarets felt Moussa Sissiko should have seen red for a challenge on Stephen Ward.

Marney added: “They’re a top quality side but the keeper has pulled off a wonder save from Andre (Gray) and then we’ve gone in front.

“We give away a soft goal and then we’re disappointed with the winner.

“It’s a terrible tackle from Sissoko, and I don’t know he’s got away with that, then he goes and sets the winner up.

“Maybe we’re too honest. It’s game management. If that’s them, the player probably stays down, but Wardy is so honest and he gets up straight away so in the refs eyes it’s not as it was.

“That’s the way it goes sometimes, but it’s disappointing.”