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Burnley travel to Crystal Palace tomorrow where the Premier League’s oldest manager will come face to face again with its longest serving.

Tomorrow will be the seventh time Roy Hodgson has come up against Burnley since becoming Crystal Palace boss in the Autumn of 2017. He got off to a great start winning the first four but we’ve bounced back with two 1-0 wins in the last two.

Hodgson has been on his lonesome recently with his trusted number two Ray Lewington in isolation but they are back tomorrow. “He’s back now,” Hodgson said of Lewington. “He’s full of beans and full of life, and very happy to be back after his imposed isolation. We’ll be benefitting from his knowledge and benefitting from his enthusiasm on the touchline. I’m sure he’ll be helping me bark out any orders that need to be barked out.”

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With our two recent 1-0 wins in mind, he said ahead of the game: “Burnley are a difficult team to play against. All the players stick to the game plan and do the things that the coach asks of them. They’ve been doing it for a long time and they have great confidence in it, and it has given them good results.

“We prepare for the game the best we can, so we understand that we have to give our best, and if we make mistakes or don’t do the things we plan to do, we could find ourselves having a very difficult afternoon. ”

He added: “It’s always hard to score goals against Burnley. That’s why they do so well in the league. If you’re so good defensively you’ve always got a chance because if you keep the game at 0-0 all you need is a goal and you get all three points. We’re capable of scoring goals, and we have the type of players and performances that lead to goalscoring.”

Palace currently sit 13th in the table but Sean Dyche said: “It’s more about points on the board than worrying about where Palace are and where we are. All games are important. Of course, statistically you have a better chance against certain teams, but it doesn’t make them make or break, it just makes them better statistical chances of getting results, from our history of being in the Premier League. They’re still good sides. Everyone’s fighting, everyone’s alive. Sheffield United have certainly shown a strong sign of that lately. They are important games, for different reasons, but you can argue that with all games.

“Recently, we went through a run of games where people probably didn’t think we were going to get anything and we came away with six points from four very tough games I think that’s a healthy return. We’ve got to keep to that form and we’ve got to keep winning games.”

The most recent point came in last week’s 1-1 draw against Brighton. Dyche said: “I thought we were very good against Brighton and arguably certainly deserved to get more than just a point in that game. But that doesn’t guarantee the next one. The importance and focus is on the next game, rather than the next three. It’s just on the next one, which is Palace.”

Palace were the first team we beat this season, a Chris Wood giving us a 1-0 home win in what was our eighth Premier League game of the season. “To get your first win always gets the story to change. Home win and then away win and then the story softens a little bit,” Dyche said.

“We’ve added on the back of that with a good points total in some very tough games and come out on the right side. A couple have got away from us. I’ve been pleased with our recent performances against some very good sides. Our last performance against Brighton was very strong and arguably, certainly in the second half, one of the strongest performances we’ve had this season.

“I thought if anyone was going to win it, it was going to be us and we worked well at both ends of the pitch. We’ve got to do that again. We’ve got to go down there with the right attitude and the right mentality to take the game on. I feel that’s a strong point of ours, to have the mentality to challenge ourselves in these games. That’s got to continue.”

He added: “We’ve got ourselves in reasonable shape, I think, from where we were at game eight. Now it’s about building on that and continuing the push down the rest of the season to play well and perform well to get what we want which is, of course, more wins.”

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