Burnley set sights on club record of 12 away victories

Charlie Austin celebrates opening the scoring against Coventry on Saturday
Charlie Austin celebrates opening the scoring against Coventry on Saturday
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THE play-offs may be all but mathematically out of reach, but Burnley are hunting a club record at Leicester City tonight.

The Clarets’ 10 away wins this term have only been bettered four times in their history – in 1992, 1973, 1961 and 1947 when 11 victories were gained on their travels.

Eddie Howe’s men can equal that mark at the King Power Stadium tonight in their penultimate game on the road, before their final away game at Lancashire rivals Blackpool on Saturday.

Assistant boss Jason Tindall hopes the squad can deliver again tonight.

He said: “That’s the aim, our away form’s been excellent this year.

“It’s just a shame we’ve been inconsistent at home, but thankfully our away form’s been good and we’ve got a lot of points on the road.

“If we can win at Leicester and achieve a record, what a place to do it.”

Tindall believes performing without the weight of expectation of a sizeable home crowd has been a factor in their fine form on their travels.

He said: “With such a young group of players, there’s less expectation on their shoulders away from home, they can relax a little bit more and play with a little more freedom, without the added pressure of playing at home.

“Our away performances have been a lot more fluent and the players have been able to express themselves more, without any pressure.

“That’s been a huge difference for them.

“When you are a young player, you need time to adapt, and sometimes it is difficult when you’ve got that added expectation.

“There’s less pressure and they can go out and express themselves.

“They enjoy playing away from home with that freedom. If they make a mistake, it’s not so bad, and they can continue to improve and get better.”

The likes of West Ham, Leeds, Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest have found away points easier to come by than at home, and Tindall added: “Sometimes it can work both ways.

“West Ham is a good example, you feel if you can keep the crowd quiet for 15/20 minutes, they’ll turn on the players’ backs, and when there’s 10/20/30,000 people on your back, it’s difficult to perform.

“They’ve found it difficult at home, but we’re slightly different in that we have a lot of inexperienced players who are in their first full season in the Championship, and when there is that added expectation, something they’ve not really experienced before, it becomes more difficult.

“But without fans, and their expectations, you’d have no team, and our fans have been great to us.

“We need to give fans something to cheer about, and vice versa.

“I don’t know what it is, the modern day fan wants you to win every game, like we do ourselves, and sometimes if you’re not one or two up inside 15 minutes, it’s a crisis, and it can be more difficult.

“But we have got no complaints with our fans.”

Burnley lie eight points outside a play-off place with nine points available after the 1-1 draw at home to Coventry on Saturday, and while there is disappointment at a failure to mount a sustained push for the top six this term, Tindall feels, overall, given the turnover of players, it has been a season of promise for the future.

He said: “We’re frustrated as a group because we’ve dropped a lot of points we’ve been disappointed with, points we shouldn’t have dropped.

“But if you said to us, with the changes that have been made, the ins and outs, are we pleased, are we going in the right direction? We would probably say ‘yes, we are’.

“We’ve used the fewest number of players in the Championship, we’ve got a very small squad, and to still be where we are is a great achievement.

“Hopefully we can learn from our mistakes this year and gain from the experiences and push on next year.

“We want to improve every game and every year, and if we can finish the final three games of the season on a positive note, that will go a long way to doing that.”