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Burnley face new league leaders Middlesbrough at Turf Moor tonight and the two managers have been speaking ahead of the game.

Middlesbrough have won all six games since Aitor Karanka returned after a crazy week in which they lost at Rotherham, he walked out and then missed a defeat at Charlton.  He’s very much back at the helm and said ahead of tonight’s game: “It’s a big game, especially because they’re one of our direct rivals.

“We have to know that we’re going into this game in a really good position. Burnley were in the Premier League last season with the same team. They have players coming from the Premier League and players coming from the Championship for big money but we’re still above them. That means we’re doing a really good job and I want to give all the credit to my players.”

1415 burnley sean dyche 00 630x420He continued: “If I transmit the expectation to the players I’m going to be making a big mistake. It’s impossible in this league to know what’s going to happen in two or three weeks because in the two years I’ve been here I’ve learnt that anything can change in two days. We just have to handle the following game and that’s Burnley. It’s a really important game but we’re in a really good position.

“I think maybe we have less pressure than them because they need to win. It’s going to be difficult. We have to handle the game well like we did with the last game against Bolton which was very tough. To play against the bottom team sometimes you think it’s easy but it’s more difficult.

“When you have to win the game and your opponent has nothing to lose. But on Tuesday we don’t need to motivate the players as they’re going to be really motivated anyway.

“The plan is to play in our style because when we do we win games. The best example is the last two games. If we play in our style we are going to win games. Huddersfield, Preston and the others – we played in our style and won. The players are really confident and for that reason I’m calm.”

Burnley are back home after that win at Birmingham and manager Sean Dyche’s rallying call is to bring it on. He said: “Inevitably there is more tension for some clubs going into the last few games but I see it as enjoyable pressure. We’ve been down this road before which does help. We go to win as we have done all season so bring it on, we’re ready.

“We’re all thirsty to be back in the Premier League and it’s very rare that that is an easy ride, but we’ve earned the right to be challenging. We’ll take it one game at a time as we have done all the way throughout the season, and the next challenge is Middlesbrough.

“It was an enjoyable experience for all and on Saturday, the fans were amazing again and they get right behind the lads as they know the challenge that we face and they know they can play a pivotal part in it.

“They have been brilliant all season and we’ve given them reasons to be excited but as I’ve made clear all along, the noise and support that the fans can bring plays a huge part and they know that.

“The lads know what’s at stake but the majority of the squad and myself have experienced it before so we know what we need to do in order to see it through. All games in this league are important whether they’re played at the beginning or the end of the season, but the lads are ready and I’m sure we can deliver a good performance.”

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