Burnley boss Sean Dyche was left bemused on Boxing Day as Middesbrough fans turned up at Turf Moor to boo him for alleged comments he made last season about Boro buying their way to Premier League promotion - it's a good job Dyche-y isn't down there this season with Newcastle's £50m squad heading England's second tier.
But we digress, with Sunderland in financial shtuck, Dyche was quick to boast he's looking forward to the transfer window because Burnley are on a 'sound footing'. The 45-year-old, now in his fifth season in management, believes he will be able to make some sensible acquisitions whilst not having to sell his best players in January. It must be nice.
But, sorry Sean, we'd rather have no money than have stooped to such depths as looking forward to re-signing Joey Barton as the Clarets are set to. In a startling revelation, Dyche said of the former Newcastle madman:
We're in ongoing discussions with him and his advisers, just to make sure we're all clear on where we stand with that.
Wait, Joey Barton has 'advisers'? They really must be the worst consultants in the world. The 34-year-old, who is coming to the end of a career littered with unpleasant antics, has been training with the Turf Moor lot since being suspended by Rangers for his apparent betting compulsion which, at the last count, has him accused of placing 1,260 bets in a spell stretching back to his Manchester City days.
Burnley striker Andre Gray has been in the news this week. The 25-year-old has gone public over his relationship with the Little Mix one who isn't a Geordie - Leigh-Anne Pinnock. The singer has upgraded her boyfriend as all pop-stars tend to as they get a bit richer. Her last beau was an Ashford Town player.
Meanwhile, Burnley super-keeper Tom Heaton has hailed the emergence of our super-keeper, Jordan Pickford. Sadly injured for a couple of months and out for the trip to Turf Moor, Sunderland's England goalie-elect is described by Heaton exactly how you would expect him to be:
Jordan obviously came on the previous England trip and I got on really well with him. He's a really good lad and a top goalkeeper.
Burnley's Jeff Hendrick has been previewing Saturday's encounter, though the Republic of Ireland international will miss the match due to suspension. Hendrick possesses an astonishing range of footballing cliches as he demonstrated in this interview in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph:
We've got to keep going, We can't take our foot off the gas.
We need to keep picking up points as much as we can and see where that leaves us.
Every game is big in this league.
We take each game as it comes.
You need to battle, you're not going to win every game pretty.
You need to make sure you grind results out.
I think the first goal is vital.
19 points at home this season breeds a certain confidence in the Turf Moor faithful, so Burnley fans are expecting to dominate a Sunderland side who have improved enormously since November but still only have 4 points from 9 away games this season.
Here's a selection of comments from Burnley fan forum
- by vinrogue » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:57 pm
I do think that we should get on the front foot quickly against Sunderland, as mentioned earlier you could see the Boro game being a one nil but Sunderland could fold if we get an early goal.
- by Adrianthepostman » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:11 pm
Sunderland look terrible this season, very short in the centre of midfield. We should win this one comfortably.
- by bodge » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:28 pm
A big part of us winning the game will be making sure we have Boyd up against Van Aanholt who is a real threat down the left for them, he ripped us a new one 2 years ago home and away.
But spare a thought for this eejit who hankers back to the days his beloved Burnley played in the lower leagues against the likes of Hartlepool. It's only twenty years since the pair were facing each other in League 2 after all:
- by HiroshimaClaret » Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:51 am
We have the impetus and the monkey hangers are coming off the back of a defeat with rumours abound of Defoe`s imminent departure. Let`s rip into `em!
Someone's been on the Christmas claret. Enjoy the games lads and lasses. Haway the lads, hic.