Tempo is the key

ANDRE Bikey feels Burnley have set the standard they have to match to achieve their goals.

The Cameroon international centre back has helped the Clarets keep clean sheets in the last two games, as the side have produced their best performances of the season to date.

A goal-less draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday - whre dominant Burnley were desperately unlucky not to win - was backed up by the 1-0 Carling Cup success over Premier League Bolton, and all that entails.

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Bikey knows that form has to be continued if Burnley are to earn an immediate return to the Premier League, and the side have two successive home league games to press home their claims.

Bristol City are first up at Turf Moor tomorrow, before Hull City are the visitors on Tuesday night, and Bikey said: “We have a difficult game now against Bristol City, but if we keep the tempo in our play, no-one can beat us at home.

“We know the target this season is promotion because we think we are a Premier League team, but we have to be focussed, and try to do the right things to reach our goal.

“Everyone is happy in the dressing room because we are playing very well, we are playing with a high tempo, and we have our moments in the games - we scored the goal against Bolton, and we could have scored more.

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“If we keep playing like that,we will be hard to beat, but we have to play every game like that, or for a long time in games.

“I hope we can keep that shape and tempo and achieve our target.”

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With one goal to his name already this season, a header in the defeat at Middlesbrough, Bikey is eager to add to his tally.

And at one stage on Tuesday night, he ended up as an auxiliary left winger, to the consternation of Brian Laws and his centre back partner Clarke Carlisle!

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But he smiled: “I tried to score, to give my best for the team and help them every time I play.

“If I can score or help a striker, to help us win, that is great!”

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The win against Bolton meant a lot to everyone at the club, but the former Reading man ignored the off-field distractions, to focus on what the victory and performance achieved: “It was really nice to beat a team like Bolton, and personally I am happy because I tested my level.

“After a game like that, I really believe we can get a promotion.

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“We played a really good side, and showed we can compete.

“It was nice to keep a clean sheet as well, it’s good for motivation and nice for the team.

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“We know we have made some mistakes, conceding goals, so it is good to keep clean sheets, because we always feel we can score, especially at home.

“The atmosphere was amazing though, calling Owen ‘Judas’ was funny, and we were happy with the win as well.

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“But it’s life, he had to find something better, and we understand that, it’s football and you have to accept that.

“It was good to see Blakey as well, he is a very good player, we know that, and it was a big loss for the football club, but he’s done the best for his family.”