Mark Hughes is determined that Burnley will not start to improve their away form during their first visit to the City of Manchester Stadium.
Owen Coyle’s side have lost all of their Barclays Premier League games on the road so far this season, scoring just twice, but they are a different proposition at Turf Moor. Manchester United are the biggest scalp taken in their own backyard, and last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Hull City will have given the Clarets confidence going into today’s fixture.
Their good home form has allowed Burnley to hoist themselves into mid-table three months into their return to the top flight after 33 years, and the City manager said:
“They have done really well and had some big results against top teams, which is what is needed. When a team comes into the Premier League they have to make an impression early on, which can sustain the confidence levels from the start of the season to the end. Start poorly, and it can be difficult to build on that base of confidence needed to go up against top teams.
“They have certainly done that, and their home form is excellent, outstanding even. Away from home, they will be looking to improve but we play very well at home and I’m sure they understand it will be a big test for them.”
Burnley’s troubles on the road mirror City’s in 2008/09, but Hughes is wary that at some point any team can turn good home form into good away form. By contrast, the Blues have lost just once home or away this season, and have been picking up points when not playing to their potential
“You just have to battle through it,” the boss continues. “So far this season six of our 10 league games have been away, and we have only been beaten once, so that’s a marked improvement.
“Burnley will be looking to up that side of things so they can be a bit more consistent this season. It is frustrating when you do well at home and then find it difficult to get points on the road. I’m sure that will be their motivation when they come to our place.”