“Our thinking is to win the game” - Burnley boss Sean Dyche not playing for a draw at Fulham
Burnley go to Craven Cottage on Monday night with Fulham desperate for three points.
But while a draw would suit the Clarets, boss Sean Dyche is only thinking of winning the game and ensuring survival.
Victory in West London would mathematically confirm a sixth-successive Premier League season for Burnley, while a point would mean Fulham having to win their last three games, against Southampton, Manchester United and Newcastle United, while hoping the Clarets also lose their last three against Leeds United, Liverpool and already relegated Sheffield United.
Dyche won’t be playing it safe, however, as he looks for a sixth away win of the season: “No, that’s not our way of thinking. I always make it clear to the team our thinking is to win the game.
“That’s the best way of going about it. It’s irrelevant the game in the sense that if your performance is right, it will look after the game.
“So we have tried to stay with that thinking. We have won big games down the years, very important games, and we know we’re not far away.
“There are always twists and tweaks, but that’s not about the game, that’s about the tactics of who we’re playing.
“We believe in the way we play, we believe in what we’re doing and that has been quite apparent from game seven until now, from having just two points there to where we are now.
“So that’s a pretty big shift when you look at it.
“The detail of delivery is important as is the physicality, the running of the side, and ours is very strong and you bring that together with the talent in the side.”
Burnley’s last three wins have all come on the road, but not in a counter-attacking style, with dominant displays against Crystal Palace, Everton and Wolves.
And Fulham have only won twice at Craven Cottage all season - against relegated West Brom and Sheffield United, indeed, Burnley have scored there as many times as Scott Parker’s side this calendar year, in a 3-0 win in the FA Cup fourth round in January.
There has been a general shift in home advantage not being as prominent behind closed doors, and Dyche explained: “The teams coming on to us, I understand the thought, but when you think of the Wolves performance, I think we were on the front foot.
“When we went to Liverpool, that’s a different thing
“I think we have tried to adapt our game to the away performances, and the players have a greater understanding of it from playing more and more in the Premier League more.
“I think the balance is out of kilter this year like for many teams and there must be something in the fans.
”If you asked a normal supporter if their team had better home form than away they would probably say yes, better home form.
“Then there was lockdown and it’s changed, so there must be something in it, there must be something in having fans in stadiums.
“Going back to the away performances, we have addressed it as much as we had to when we came back up. When we came back up I think we had one win and took four or five points away from home.
“We had to address that, break it down and the players became more mature in the Premier League.
“So I think there’s a mixed bag.”
There is more pressure on Fulham to win, as their need is greater, but Dyche’s focus is on performance: “As always we’ll focus on what we need to do.
”There is obviously more weight on them, just because of what the table shows you. That’s a different ball game. It’s up to them what they make of that.
”But for us, it’s just another game, an important one, and one where we need to deliver a good performance, as we have recently, even if we haven’t always been picking up the points.
“This game will be built up, because of the situation we’re both in, but we don’t want to get involved in that. Our aims are performance, three points. That’s it, regardless of who it’s against.”