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Stoke travel to Burnley tonight and that brings Mark Hughes to Turf Moor in what is his third season as manager of the Potteries club.

He sees a tough game ahead and has some comforting words for those Burnley fans who have hit the panic button following Saturday’s defeat against Spurs.

Asked about the Clarets, he said: “Their home form has been exceptional, as good as anybody’s. Even against top six teams, they have run them very close. I watched them against Liverpool and they played well that day.

“So they’ve clearly learned from the last time they were in the league and used the knowledge to be better. They are not on a good run, but I don’t see them being in trouble at the end of the season. I think they’ve got more than enough.

“They don’t change the way they play. They are very committed to what they do. They are very direct, play to their strengths and everybody knows their job. You’ve got to match their physicality and energy and, if you can do, you would like to think you can take the game to them.”

Everyone seems to be asking how many points we will need but Sean Dyche says he doesn’t have any target in mind. “We never have done,” he said. “We have been promoted twice and didn’t set a points target then either. You just have to get to the point where you get the job done, so that’s our focus and we can only get there one game at a time.

“We have given ourselves a real good foundation and now it’s about continuing the journey. It’s different for us. It’s nice in a way people are talking about that (our lead over the bottom three) because no one gave us a chance before a ball was kicked. Literally no one gave us a chance of doing what we’re doing. Now we don’t want to settle for that, of course.

“It’s been recognised that we have delivered a decent season up to now. I think we’ve got to build on that, not rely on that, just build on it and keep moving forwards. We’ve shown good signs of that since I have been at the club, so that’s important going into the last eight games.”

Dyche added: “For about twenty minutes Tottenham were really strong, with and without the ball. For the rest of the game we delivered a fair performance against a top class side. There’s a balance to it when you’re playing the real top end of the market.

“You’ve sometimes got to look slightly beyond the results, but appreciate we’ve got to move forward, get more results and get more points on the table.”

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