Burnley V Southampton at Turf Moor : LIVE

13 December 2014 09:26
Burnley V Southampton - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Saints slump means nothing - Dyche

Burnley cannot read too much into Southampton's mini slump ahead of their visit to Turf Moor, according to Sean Dyche.

The Clarets entertain a Saints side who have lost three games on the spin and who have slipped from second down to fifth in the Barclays Premier League table.

However, Dyche was quick to highlight how those defeats have come against three of the division's heavyweights in Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United, while praising the job Ronald Koeman has done in his first few months in English football.

Southampton's summer of upheaval had led to a widespread belief that Koeman would struggle to emulate the efforts of Mauricio Pochettino's men last year but Dyche has admired the rebuilding process the Dutchman has overseen on the south coast.

"He's done a fine job so far," said the Burnley manager.

"He took over a club that was obviously in transition regarding the player trading side and a lot was made out of that and where the team would go.

"They've brought in money and used money wisely to bring in some players he wanted and they look like a fine side.

"They've had a little blip at the moment but they've played the big boys of the division.

"He's doing a great job; that's how it looks to me. They're a good side and have a good mixture in there. They can play in different ways and so far, so good for him.

"But he's coming to Turf Moor and that's a challenge for them and a good one for us to go and pit our wits against those types of players and that type of manager."

One player who remains absent for Burnley this weekend is Southampton-born striker Sam Vokes, who has been out since March with a knee injury.

He is nearing a comeback after playing 90 minutes for the development squad in midweek, yet Dyche has previously stressed the need for the 25-year-old to be "over fit".

The Clarets will also be without Stephen Ward for around six weeks due to the ankle injury the full-back sustained in the draw with Newcastle earlier this month.

Southampton boss Koeman has warned his side that tackling Burnley at Turf Moor could prove "maybe more difficult" than testing themselves against the Premier League top clubs.

The Saints head to Lancashire looking to end a run of three successive defeats and Koeman is expecting a response from his players, with Belgium international Toby Alderweireld and James Ward-Prowse both back in the squad after injury, although Morgan Schneiderlin misses out with a groin strain.

However, the Dutch coach maintains there can be no sense of complacency taking on a side who are scrapping for every point in the battle at the other end of the Premier League.

"Always the pressure is higher to win the next one after three defeats in a row, that is normal, but Burnley are tough at home and physical," said Koeman.

"We lost all three games, so it is important to get back to a winning feeling.

"But maybe the next one will be totally different, and maybe more difficult, because it is an away game and because of how they play.

"It is maybe a little bit like a typical English style, it will be difficult and they will have all our respect because they have a good team."

Koeman believes Southampton will learn from their shortcomings against the leading sides.

"If you want to make the next step you have to learn about that (how to beat the top teams)," he said.

"We created good chances last Monday, but we scored only once, and we made some mistakes and that wasn't usual for our team at the beginning of the season.

"The big team's big players don't need a lot of chances to score, they are used and they have that experience.

"To get that experience you have to play those kinds of games.

"We have to learn, we know that we played well, but it wasn't good enough.

"Of course we can beat the big teams, if we can play the same as we did against Man United again, then I think we will beat them."

Source: PA