WHILE the rest of Europe puts the footballs away for a couple of weeks and prepares to tuck into the turkey and make the most of the mulled wine, the games in this country will be coming thick and fast over the next 10 days.

The festive fixture list is certainly a unique selling point of the English game and for Burnley it's a period to relish this year. Over the next 10 days they face Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool, as well as making the short trip to Huddersfield.

They will begin that run in the dizzy heights of sixth, with a battle for a place in Europe next season now on the agenda rather than a long slog through winter aiming to stay in the league.

It's a Christmas cracker of a festive schedule, but it's not always easy for those involved. The programme usually includes a training session on Christmas Day and then spending Christmas night in a hotel.

Sean Dyche is well used to it now, having been in the game professionally as a player or as a manager for close on three decades, and he tries to be flexible with his squad while the rest of the country is making the most of the party season.

"Depending on the fixtures it can be really taxing on the players, emotionally - the physical side is taxing anyway - but you want to relax and be with your families," the Clarets chief said.

"On the other hand, they’re all aware of it. Most have been footballers for a while, and it’s all I’ve known all my life.

"You get used to it and appreciate it's part of the fixture list.

"We do try and be flexible, let them see their families and enjoy their time away from the club."

The merits of introducing a winter break into English football have long been debated, but even if such an idea ever came to fruition it seems certain it would arrive in January and not over Christmas. Football on Boxing Day and New Year's Day is here to stay.

And Dyche believes those in the game enjoy it, particularly the players and managers who have come into the British game from abroad.

“It’s something you sometimes take for granted, but when you don’t - the football side of things I mean - some of the foreign managers remind you it’s not like this in the league they’ve come from," he said.

“They actually enjoy it. The physical side of it is tough from a manager and players’ point of view, but the actual feel of Christmas games and the support of football over the period, a lot of them marvel at it and realise how it’s become so important and so traditional in this country."

So what of Burnley's festive schedule, statistically the toughest of any Premier League side based on the average league position of the teams they face?

Dyche added: "There’s some massive games coming up, and I think the supporters look forward to more of that underdog spirit, if you like. There’s some big teams we’re going to play over the next couple of weeks.

"But as I’ve said many times, you have to play them all, and we’ve taken on the challenge so far this season in every game, so we look to continue that."