Clarets boss Stan Ternent is fuming after Bristol City leaked his interest in striker Steve Jones ahead of tomorrow's clash between the two sides at Turf Moor.

Ternent enquired about Jones, who recently moved to Ashton Gate from Charlton Athletic for £500,000, a couple of weeks ago.

But he said today that it was just one of a number of ongoing queries about players and he was clearly less than pleased that City boss Tony Pulis had let the cat out of the bag over a possible move for Jones.

"I can't comment on that," said Ternent, who added: "It's absolute amateurism as management goes. I make 10 to 20 of those calls a week and other managers do the same to me."

Ternent, who never conducts his transfer business in public, clearly believes that preliminary enquiries about players should remain strictly confidential.

However, Pulis chose to reveal that Ternent had asked about Jones and a fee of around £700,000 was reported in the Bristol area. The City boss said he wasn't looking to sell a player he has recently bought and Burnley aren't thought to have that money available.

But whether a deal was likely to be pursued or not, Ternent would not have wanted the matter aired. Jones will therefore be a central figure at Turf Moor, where he will partner new £200,000 signing from Notts County, Peter Beadle.

Burnley should also be bolstered in the striking department with the likely return of Andy Payton after illness ruled him out of Tuesday night's win at Cambridge.

Asked if he would be available, Ternent said: "I should think so. We'll see today."

The Clarets climbed a place to fifth in the table thanks to their 1-0 win at Cambridge and defender Dean West stressed the need to stay in the promotion pack

"It's important to just stay in the top six," he said. "That's the only target really, to stay in the top six and stay in touch with the teams in front of you and not let too big a gap develop. As long as we are there or thereabouts we've got a chance."

West added: "It's an important game for us. We've got to get back on track from the previous two home games which were disappointing results.

"Bristol are a hard side to beat and have drawn a few games, a bit like ourselves really, but after Tuesday's result and at Millwall last Saturday we have been back in the right ways of staying unbeaten and scoring as well."

Apart from Payton's likely return alongside the in-form Andy Cooke, the Clarets are likely to be unchanged as they look for a first home win in three attempts.

"We started the season off really well but there's always going to be a few results go against you. We have just got to bounce back," said West.

"In the Scunthorpe game we created enough chances to have won the game but the keeper played really well.

"We didn't defend well but to not defend well once in 12 games isn't so bad."

Pulis admitted that Tuesday night's 1-1 draw against Colchester, which left his side in 15th-place in the table, was the worst performance under his control.

And he insisted: "Tomorrow promises to be one of our toughest games. They are flying and we will need to show a big improvement."

Burnley from: Crichton, West, Smith, Mullin, Davis, Thomas, Little, Cook, Cooke, Payton, Johnrose, Branch, Mellon, Jepson, Lee, Armstrong, Brass, Weller, Robertson.

Bristol City from: Phillips, Lavin, Brennan, Hutchings, Sebok, Taylor, Goodridge, Mortimer, Jones, Beadle, Tinnion, Thorpe, Murray, Torpey, Bell, Brown, Scope (gk).

Burnley kick-off their Youth Alliance Group Cup competition at Carlisle tomorrow, hoping to avenge a 1-0 defeat in the league last weekend.

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