After taking in Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw with Southampton on Monday evening, Burnley boss Sean Dyche is expecting another Premier League challenge.
Dyche was in the stands at Villa Park as Saints defender Nathaniel Clyne’s late strike cancelled out Gabriel Agbonlahor’s first half opener.
Paul Lambert’s side are just two points above the Clarets having accumulated two points from their previous eight outings. But after ending a 10-game winless run with successive victories, Dyche is aware how quickly football can change.
“I was down there on Monday and they’re giving everything,” Dyche said. “They’re certainly working hard enough and they’re probably like ourselves at times - trying to find that extra bit of quality and extra moment of clarity to score goals and win games. They’ve experienced it enough over the last few years. Another challenge awaits us and we look forward to it.
“We’re wary of everyone in the Premier League. We’re newcomers to it and we understand the demands of it so we’re aware that any team is there to be respected in this division. When that whistle goes respect has to go out of the window though because you’ve got to go out and win a football match.”
Villa will be without striker Christian Benteke for Saturday’s trip to Turf Moor as the Belgium international serves the final game of a three-match ban awarded for his dismissal in defeat to Spurs. Lambert will also be without Charles N’Zogbia, Ron Vlaar, Philippe Senderos, Nathan Baker, Fabian Delph and Libor Kozak.
“Like a few teams there’s a big expectation on a club like Villa,” Dyche said. “There are some realities for them as well - they’re missing a couple of players particularly Benteke and Delph who had a fantastic start to the season. They have a young side that’s maturing but make no mistake I think they’re a good side.”
Commenting on the fitness of his own squad, Dyche added: “Scott Arfield will come back in to contention after getting a knock last week which was nothing too major, Matty Taylor is slightly longer, Vokesy had a good week with a reserve game which is great, other than that we’re pretty clear. There’s a few knocks and bruises. Duffo’s got a question mark so we’ll see how he goes over the next 24 hours.”
Victory could see the Clarets clamber out of the division’s bottom three, but Dyche is only focussed on the three points at stake: “The perfect incentive is to win game by game. There can never be any better incentive than winning. Our main journey is to win as many games as you can. We’ve won two back-to-back which is excellent.
“We’ve got two home games coming up which we’re looking forward to. We can only take it one at a time but we’ll be ready for the Villa game. That’s our concern.
“We see it as another chance to play some football and try to win a game. We’ve got to keep going, got to work hard, got to be organised and deliver every inch of what we can in every game this season.”