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We're defending with pride now, says Burnley keeper
LEE Grant believes Burnley are benefiting from a stronger defensive mentality under manager Sean Dyche.
The Clarets are due to take on Millwall in south London this afternoon, although the game is subject to a 9am inspection.
The New Den has undersoil heating but the Lions are also monitoring conditions outside the ground, as well as potential problems with public transport, following freezing temperatures and snow.
Burnley are hoping to make a play-off challenge in the weeks ahead and Grant thinks their organisation at the back has played a big part in their recent form.
The Clarets have won three of their last four Championship fixtures and have conceded only 12 goals in 15 games since Dyche took over as boss, compared to 34 in 16 matches before his arrival this term.
A settled back line has played its part but Grant thinks a better mentality has been the key factor.
“It’s more to do with the fact that people are very tuned into what’s being asked of them from the staff,” said the goalkeeper.
“We’re very determined and defending with much more pride, and I think we’re doing it really, really well.
“I think the difference is the mentality – the mentality towards our defending.
“We were very focused on playing one way, and that’s not to say we didn’t put any effort or time in on the training ground on doing the horrible stuff at the other end. We certainly did.
“But the focus has become slightly more balanced and we’re delivering it a lot better.
“People have bought into the ideas and we’re working hard.
“We’ve been given a lot of information on and off the field, it’s helping us understand our roles a lot clearer and people are working really hard to deliver that and it’s paid off really well.”
The Den has a reputation for one of the most feared venues in football, but not for Grant.
The goalkeeper has fond memories of previous away games against Millwall, helping Burnley to a 1-0 win last season and also starring there during his time at Derby.
“I had one of my best ever performances for Derby County when I was a young player down there, I’ve still got the newspaper clippings,” he said.
“We scored a good Jay Rodriguez goal from a set piece last year, really well worked.
“We had to battle hard to earn that, and a clean sheet, which you have to do at any time at the Den, so we'll be looking to replicate that.”
The Docklands club has a reputation as an intimidating place to play or watch the game, but Grant said the secret to overcoming the hostilities is to switch off.
“You hear it and it goes in one ear and out the other, and I think that's probably the best way to deal with it,” said the 29-year-old.
“You’re not always going to like what people say behind the goal. It might be your own fans at some stage, so you've got to get on with it.
“I think as a young player it may be intimidating. When you've played there numerous times you're well aware.
“I find it quite entertaining because I get very first-hand, up close and personal experience of it being so close to their fans for the majority of the game.
“I enjoy listening to the banter. Most of it’s good natured, some of it's not, but you accept it and you get on with the game.
“Interesting is probably the word I would use to describe it.
“I've heard a whole raft of comments.
“Some of it’s well-natured banter, some of it’s not but you get on with it either way.
“It’s something you know and expect when you go down to Millwall.”
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