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Burnley boss Howe calls for more of the same at the Riverside
BURNLEY boss Eddie Howe has called for the Clarets to back up beating Bolton with a repeat performance at Middlesbrough – and not let their derby triumph be a one-off.
With three games in the opening week of the Championship there has been little time for the players to bask in the celebrations of sinking local rivals.
But Howe would not wish them to get carried away by one result either, particularly going into back-to-back away games, starting with Boro tonight then newly promoted Huddersfield on Saturday.
The Burnley boss was hard at work with his players on the training ground yesterday preparing for their first trip of the season (kick-off 7.45pm at The Riverside).
And with Tony Mowbray’s Boro suffering a shock 1-0 defeat at Barnsley in their opening day game, he is bracing his Clarets for a backlash.
“I expect a different test, it’s an away game for a start, and Middlesbrough are on the back of something of a shock scoreline, because I expect them to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season,” said Howe.
“They have a really strong squad and are really well managed, play good football, so it will be really difficult.
“We have to prepare differently, and hopefully we’ll get the same result.
“There’s a lot of hard work to be done now with two really tough away games, against a side that’s an established Championship team looking to progress and against a side that’s just come up.
“They are two really good games for us and the beauty now is we can go into those games with real confidence, knowing that we beat one of the promotion favourites, which should do us no harm at all.
“You always feel good on the back of a win, especially in the manner of it, but you have to quickly move on in this league.
“It’s one game, but certainly what pleased me more than anything was the manner in which we played. Without getting too technical, all aspects of the game I thought we were very good in.
“We try to recognise what we did well and try to take that into another difficult match.
“Saturday reinforces your good work and what you’re trying to do, and gives everybody confidence your methods can get wins.
“But it’s only one game, we don’t want that to be in isolation and then fall flat.
“The challenge is to seek that consistency, become a team that is feared in the division and consistently get results - an area we didn’t excel in last year.
“We’re capable of it - you saw the talent in the squad on Saturday, now it’s a case of rising to the mental challenge.”
Burnley produced one of their best performances of last season at Middlesbrough, and came away with a 2-0 win thanks to first-half goals from Jay Rodriguez and Kieran Trippier in January.
“Remembering the game we were really disciplined and executed the game plan perfectly that day,” Howe recalled.
“It will be a different game (tonight), being their first at home.
“I’m sure we’re going to have to stand up again physically to what Middlesbrough have to offer.
“They’ve got a lot of experience in their squad with the signings of (Jonathan) Woodgate and (Grant) Leadbitter – a number of experienced players who have played in the Premier League so it will be a really good test for us and of our credentials again.
“Woodgate’s a top player who’s had a fantastic career.
“Bar injuries he probably would have played for England on a regular basis.
“Now he’s gone back to his hometown club it’s going to be interesting to see how he does this year.”
Boro yesterday also completed the signing of Josh McEachran on a season-long loan from Chelsea, taking their summer signings to nine - 10 if you include Justin Hoyte re-signing.
“They’ve made an array of signings, different types of players and from different levels,” Howe continued.
“I do expect Middlesbrough to be quite strong this year, despite the fact they lost their first game. On the first day you do get the odd shocks here and there.
“We’ve got to be fully prepared to give a different game but another good test.”
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