Burnley must find a way to avoid defeat at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Burnley end their run of four consecutive away Premier League games when they visit the Stadium of Light on Saturday to play bottom club Sunderland. Hopes are high that the Clarets will add to the miserly two points acquired on the road this season, before they return to Fortress Turf Moor to play Tottenham Hotspur on April Fool's Day.
I was immensely proud of the way every one of the Burnley players performed at Anfield on Saturday and I really believe they did not deserve to lose. The Barnes' opening goal had Premier League class written all over it. After failing to score in the first 2 away games this season, Burnley have now scored in the last 6 away games, including goals against three of the top 6 sides.
It is a great credit to the players that despite all the setbacks they have suffered away from home this season, they have never lost heart and continue to battle strongly. Burnley fans should consider themselves very lucky as fans to follow such a resilient team.
You can spend all day looking at all the statistics you want and look back at this away game and at that away game but it wont make any difference when the two teams take to the field on Saturday. Burnley simply must find a way to avoid defeat.
Forget that Burnley are playing a poor Sunderland side, who have failed to beat the Clarets in 3 attempts this season, losing two of the contests in the bargain. Forget that Burnley are playing away. Forget that Coventry went a full Premier League season without winning an away game and still accrued 44 points.
It's a game of football and I believe Burnley have the better players and the better team framework, whatever eleven players Burnley gaffer Sean Dyche eventually decides to put out.
I have promised myself that before the game I am not going to get upset if Brady is playing on the right or if Defour doesn't even make the bench. l am going to put the Dyche spin out of my head and forget that some fans have already made their minds up we will not win away this season.
I am going to marvel at the striking skills of the recalled veteran England international Jermaine Defoe and pray he suffers an off day and that Sunderland continue their present run of goalless games. I am going to be proud at the number of internationals who are now playing for Burnley, plus also having one of the best English managers in the EPL.
Compare Dyche to David Moyes, who really is a manager under pressure and seems unable to motivate his players. The Sunderland fans will be resigned to being relegated if they lose on Saturday. I hope Burnley's three men of Eire can turn on an impressive display before they head off to Dublin.
It's easy to see why many Burnley fans see Saturday's match as the best opportunity to get that elusive first away win. I would be delighted if we came away with a draw. If the worse happens and Burnley lose, I'm determined to be no more disappointed than I normally am.
Like many others, I read the Stan Collymore newspaper column this week and Stan was very complimentary about the journey Burnley Football Club have made in recent years and even suggested that clubs like Derby would do well to follow the Burnley model.
Stan even went as far as predicting a European challenging season next year if the Clarets can improve on their abysmal away form. I'm not at all convinced about that, but three points bagged at Wearside on Saturday would be one heck of a start.
This article was written by Michael Donnelly alias "The Donz". Michael is an uber Clarets fan and is also a regular contributor to Clarets Mad and is well known and respected for his totally unbiased points of view on Burnley Football Club!