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Coyle confident ahead of play-offs
Published : 04 May 2009 09:09:06
The Clarets recorded a thumping 4-0 win over Bristol City to claim fifth place in the table and set up a two-legged clash with Steve Coppell's men. The result sealed the Lancashire outfit's highest league finish for 33 years but the highly-rated Coyle is already looking further ahead. He said: "The lads have given themselves a chance but we're not stopping here. "The work ethic and the desire and hunger to do the best we can is so evident as far as I'm concerned. "We now have two tough games against quality opposition but I think Reading will be saying the same about us. "They know we can play a little bit and I think you will see two very good footballing sides. "We're in terrific form and, having sampled the top flight with Bolton as a player, I now want to sample it with Burnley." Graham Alexander, now 37 but a key performer for Coyle's men, struck twice from the penalty spot and Wade Elliott and substitute Joey Gudjonsson also got on the scoresheet. Victory was no more than the Clarets deserved as they were vibrant throughout and again reproduced the attractive brand of football which has won them many admirers. Reading will not relish facing Coyle's men, who bundled Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal out of the Carling Cup earlier this season and took Tottenham to extra-time in a classic semi-final encounter at Turf Moor. Remarkably, this was Burnley's 58th game of their marathon season. Coyle added: "This group of players have played more games than anybody except Manchester United and they just keep giving everything they've got. "Some of the football was outstanding, it was precise passing and movement with pace and all the things that we're good at. "If we carry that through and replicate it in the two games then we've got as good a chance as anybody." Coyle will assess the fitness of defender Clarke Carlisle and midfielder Elliott ahead of Saturday's game after they were both withdrawn due to leg injuries. On-loan Middlesbrough defender Rhys Williams' loan has expired and he looks certain to be unavailable unless an agreement with his parent club can be reached. City boss Gary Johnson could take few positives from his side's performance but said that finishing 10th represented an achievement of sort. "We're not a bad Championship side but we looked like one today," Johnson assessed. "You have to say well done to Burnley of course. There was a spell for 20 minutes in the first half where we quietened the crowd a bit. But not for long. "Once they scored the two goals it was always going to be tough. "We will now start preparing for next season and begin talking to players about contracts and see who is going to stay with us."