Belfast Telegraph

Strong run gives Dyche belief

Burnley manager Sean Dyche insists a three-match unbeaten run has reinforced his players' belief that they can cut it in the Premier League.

A draw against Aston Villa on Saturday made it seven points from a possible 12 in November and has lifted the Clarets off the bottom of the table after they opened their season with nine matches without a victory.

And while he admits the leap from the SkyBet Championship, from which they were promoted last season, is a large one he had no doubts his players could bridge it and now they are starting to put results together he thinks it is making opponents view them differently.

"The good results enforce the belief and enhance it," he said ahead of Tuesday's visit of Newcastle.

"I have never had doubts about the group.

"We know the challenge, we know there is an area of the market we are in and we are realistic in our views but the team is improving technically, tactically and physically.

"It is as much mentality as belief; that can be a big jump from the Championship to the Premier League because every game is a big game.

"There is a period of adaptation for the group but they have done well through that and what was deemed a really poor start has turned into not a poor start and people are thinking 'Hang on, they are delivering, they are getting points on the board'.

"There is a different look to us now from the outside looking in but we've had our belief from the start of the season."

Newcastle's injury problems have hit "critical".

That was the assessment of manager Alan Pardew, who will take a threadbare squad to Turf Moor due to fitness problems and suspensions.

Goalkeeper Tim Krul, captain Fabricio Coloccini and Rolando Aarons are all injured, while Daryl Janmaat, Mike Williamson and Massadio Haidara all face late fitness tests.

With Moussa Sissoko being sent off against West Ham on Saturday and Jack Colback having collected his fifth booking of the campaign, the Magpies are likely to be severely underpowered.

"It's critical, I would say, in terms of the spine of the team," said Pardew.

"There's no Tim, no Moussa, no Jack who would all probably start if they were fit.

"We're taking 22 players to Burnley, and three of them are youth-team players."

Pardew declined to blame sheer bad luck for the beleaguered state of his squad.

Instead, he suggested the growing intensity of life in the Barclays Premier League - on the training park as well as on a matchday - is leaving players vulnerable.

"We're carrying a lot of injuries at the moment, but I think all Premier League teams go through that," he said.

"I think the way we play and the way we train in the Premier League, not just us, is putting more players at risk of injury because we're really at the very edge of the physical capabilities of players.

"On top of that they get taken away on internationals, where we've lost so many players this season."

Williamson, Haidara and Janmaat will all make the trip to Burnley before a final decision is made on their availability but if the news is not good Pardew could be forced to hand either Remie Streete or Lubomir Satka a debut.

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