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Newcastle are our visitors tomorrow night for Sky’s Monday Night Football and the two managers have been speaking ahead of the game.

For Rafa Benitez, it is a first visit to Turf Moor since he was manager of Liverpool. He was in charge of them when we beat them in an FA Cup tie thirteen seasons ago and then in our first Premier League season of 2009/10 when they followed up a 4-0 Anfield win with another 4-0 victory that confirmed our relegation.

His side are just above us in the table and he said: “When I tell the players we want to be more ambitious, it is not that we have to be in the top four, or in Europe, or whatever. It is just to approach every game with the feeling we can improve a little big.

“If we try to learn something, or to work a little bit harder in the training sessions, and if we can be a little bit better in every game, you never know what can happen.

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“The team are doing well. We have the points that we wanted, maybe less than we wanted, but we are happy. Everybody is doing what we expect them to do, we have ideas, game plans and they are doing that. We have had another good training session today (Thursday), and that is the reason why we are in a good position in the table.

“At the same time, I would say that it’s too early, we have to wait, see where we are in January, and we will see the real potential of the team.”

Asked about Burnley, Benitez spoke about Sean Dyche. “He is doing a great job,” the Spaniard said. “When you have a manager who has been there a while, trying to sign the players that he wants, managing the way that he wants, in the end you have a team that know what to do. They know what the manager wants and I think that’s a great advantage.

“They are doing well. They are well organised. They are in a good position in the table and they are playing with confidence, and that is always an advantage if you want to go and compete in every game.”

Last season, Sean Dyche was constantly asked about our away form, or certainly the lack of away wins. Now it seems every question is about our home form because we’ve won just one of the four so far.

Is it no longer a fortress? “It’s not really not become a fortress,” Dyche said. “People are implying a different kind of situation. It doesn’t worry me, because we have only been beaten once, and if that continues I will be pretty happy.

“We were so strong at home last year and we’re not miles off that this year, the way we’ve been performing. Maybe teams are treating us differently don’t forget. They are maybe coming with a different game plan than what they were last season. That’s to be considered as well, which we do look at.

“But we’re not miles away from our home form being strong as well, so I’ve been very pleased overall.”

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