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Burnley travel to Newcastle tomorrow and Steve Bruce has hinted at changes in both formation and team selection to try and get his team back on track and pick up the points to ensure they don’t drop into a relegation battle.

Bruce said: “Very early on in the season, it was evident they were quite comfortable in what they had done before (referring to them being defensively minded under previous manager Rafa Benitez). If changing is a new era, then we will try.

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“We haven’t created enough and done enough and whereas when we were a threat on the counter attack, I think that’s waned over the past few weeks for whatever reason so we have to maybe try something different and see if we can create more chances and score more goals, because if we don’t it’s impossible to win a match.

“When you look for change, you can either change the personnel or change the system and how often do we see it now in the Premier League? That’s why we’ve got big squads. How often do you see a team go to three at the back? Man United did it last week. It’s something we’d like to adapt to, to have a couple of formations under your wing so when we do change we’re comfortable with it.

“Your home form is crucial to you. We’ve still got six to play at home so we hope we can keep that consistency level good. Obviously the supporters have their part to play but we must give them something to shout about. I’m determined that we will and a big occasion tomorrow. That’s what they are. The next five or six games at home will obviously define us.”

The first of those games is, of course, against us and he said of the Clarets: “First and foremost he (Sean Dyche) has done a remarkable job again and you know what you’re going to get from Burnley. They epitomise what Sean wants and what he is so it doesn’t surprise me that they’ve got the results that they have done.

“I think there’s only the top four have won as many games as Burnley so that shows you the run they’ve had. Fair play to them, you know what you are going to be up against and we’ve got to match that. We’ve got to match them physically for a start and the demands they put on you in your box. I’m confident we’ll manage to do it.”

Asked about the threat from us with the changes we’ve been forced to make recently up front, he added: “Vydra’s been patient and waited for his time, from the outside and look he’s got back to back goals in the Premier League. I’ve known him before in the Championship; he was a very decent player but obviously Wood and Barnes have been their main striking force for the majority of the season but he’s done well the kid since he’s come in.”

Sean Dyche takes us to Newcastle on the back of four wins and a draw in the last five games that have moved us on to 37 points and just a win short of the figure that usually means safety.

“Forty points strongly suggests that you are in the Premier league for the next season, Dyche said. “The first milestone is that 40 points, and for a lot of teams, ourselves included, that is our first train of thought. But you are always looking to better that, and once we get there we will re-assess and re-evaluate.

“We finished there last season, and we have a chance now to better that points tally. Can we go harder, longer and stronger than we did last season and get more points?”

Dyche then spoke about Dwight McNeil who will make his fiftieth Premier League appearance tomorrow if selected: “Fifty games and still only 19, turning 20 within those games, is fantastic and I’m really enjoying what Dwight offers. As a lad, he is very humble and quiet and his dad, who was a footballer, seems to be giving him good advice, because he’s hardly changed. It’s nice to see him chirping up a little and getting involved in the group a bit more.

“His shoulders are back and he’s enjoying the banter a bit more as he gets more experience in the group, but as a player, he’s a top young player and I believe in everything he is doing. We haven’t over coached him at all. We’ve guided him, but other than little details we’ve left him alone a lot and I love the fact he is enjoying his football.

“He has some good voices around him in the dressing room; people who I trust implicitly. They give him good information, and he is absorbing it. He is just a young man enjoying wearing the Burnley shirt and we just want him to enjoy his performances.”

Looking forward to tomorrow, he added: “There’s a good energy in the camp, but also in the town. It’s a very tough challenge going through a Premier League season and if you think you are not going to have blips, then you are very naïve.

“Our fans have been very good with that and they know we are not going to sail through it, which is why they stand by us, historically. We will be well supported up there and the fans get rewarded for their backing, because this group give them everything. We have our ups and downs, but this group give a lot to the fans through sweat on the shirt. They know they will get a shift out of the players and that will never go out of fashion, in my view.

“Fans still enjoy that and not many times have we let them down on that score, so we go up to Newcastle ready to deliver. Good runs don’t solve everything, but they do give you a feel good factor and within that run there have been some big performances. There are still things we can do better; there always is, but it’s been the level of consistency we’ve found that has been pleasing.”

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