There is a clear focus here and we like that
QPR are the visitors tomorrow and that brings Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink to Turf Moor for the first time as a manager.
It certainly won’t be his first visit and I can recall him playing in a friendly for Chelsea against us back in 2001 when he played just over half of the game before being replaced by Gianfranco Zola.
Ahead of his first managerial visit he has called on his players to express themselves. He said: “This is a big game for Burnley, and there is going to be a great atmosphere with a lot of exposure.
“It is going to be nice for our players because of everything that comes with this game. We have to relish these moments and these challenges. We want to take the game to Burnley and keep working on the things we have been working on.”
Hasselbaink, who was introduced to the Loftus Road crowd as the new manager on our visit in December, added: “It is very important we get something from every game we play in. We want to move in an upwards direction.
“Burnley are a very, very good team. We have to be right but we want to challenge ourselves against these kind of teams. We want to look at Burnley as an example of where we want to be in the future.
“The atmosphere can only help our players. No matter who you are, every player wants to play at the highest level and in games with big atmospheres, and this is one of those games. You want to go into these games and express yourself, and be able to play good football under pressure.
“Can we make it difficult for their back four and their whole team? Can we go there and threaten them, and score? It will not be easy. They have their strengths but they also have their weaknesses.
“We want to make it a very difficult game for them and we’re relishing this opportunity.”
Sean Dyche spoke ahead of this game after Birmingham had held Middlesbrough to a 2-2 draw on Friday night, but he was very quick to push that result out of his thinking.
“The other games won’t affect our preparations,” he said. “They are things that are outside our influence. We can’t control others, but we can control what we do, so we will retain our focus and that keeps us single-minded about the task in front of us.
“The players will know the Brighton result on Monday before we go out. They aren’t stupid, but it still comes down to us and how we operate. People sometimes forget that the last bit before you go out onto the pitch is the minimal amount of work for all of us. We’ve been working all week to get ready for that moment, so if the players don’t know what they are doing at that point, you haven’t had a good week.”
With the home stands expected to be full, Dyche added: “I think the whole club has handled the big occasions well this season. That comes down to the alignment throughout the whole club, probably since my first summer here when we remoulded the team.
“The fans have been absolutely glued to the team since then and that’s an important factor. It gives the team strength and allows them to play with freedom and we all want that to continue.
“There is a clear focus here and we like that. There is a time to reflect on the highs if what’s gone, but that’s not now. It’s time to look forwards now and we only look as far as the next game.
“Preston was a really good performance, but we parked that and immediately started working again. We’ve done that really well, and QPR is the next challenge for us.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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