Dwight McNeil insists Burnley have nothing to fear as they travel to Chelsea on Sunday in buoyant mood after recording three wins on the bounce.The Clarets will start as underdogs at Stamford Bridge against a home side still adjusting to new manager Thomas Tuchel.
But Sean Dyche’s side began their current run with victory over Liverpool at Anfield and also won at Arsenal last month, so will head south full of belief they are capable of upsetting the odds once again.“We’re on 22 points and going along nicely. We’re heading in the right direction,” McNeil said on the club’s website.“You’ve got to be careful of what’s behind you but we’re always looking up because we want to move forward as a team.“We know it will be a hard game. They’ve got a new manager and it will be like a fresh start for them, especially going into the second half of the season.“But we’ve got to focus on ourselves. We’ve won at hard grounds before, so we’ve got that confidence going into it.”Tuchel took charge of his first Chelsea game in Wednesday’s goalless draw with Wolves, just a day after being confirmed as Frank Lampard’s replacement.Some tactical tweaks were already in evidence but Burnley will face something of an unknown as Chelsea adjust to some new methods.“We know it’s a different test for us, especially with a new manager, but we are looking forward to it,” McNeil added.“We’ve got to look at our strengths and how we can exploit them and think about us because we’re going into the game off three wins in all competitions, so we’ve got all the confidence there within the group.“You never know what could happen again on Sunday because it’s been a strange season.”McNeil missed time with injury over the festive period, but his return to the starting line-up has coincided with Burnley’s three-game winning streak.He scored his first goal of the season in Wednesday’s come-from-behind victory over Aston Villa while also teeing up Chris Wood’s winner.“It’s been frustrating for me this season not impacting games as much as I’d like,” he added.“But the other night, getting a goal and an assist, has given me that extra bit of confidence and I’m happy for Woody to have got another goal.“He deserved his goal and another headed goal, so I know he’s happy with it.“We play with two strikers so there’s always that aim to keep putting balls in the box.“You’ve got two strikers who want to score goals and will get in there for you.“They know you’ll put the ball in and you know they’ve got a good chance of scoring from them, so I have that bit of freedom to be that old fashioned-type winger and that’s what they thrive off.”Matt Lowton, Kevin Long and Johann Berg Gudmundsson have all signed new two-year contracts to remain with Burnley until the summer of 2023, while the club have activated a clause in Erik Pieters’ deal to extend the left-back’s deal until June 2022.The quartet follow Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood and Ben Mee in extending their commitments as the Clarets bid to avoid the problems encountered last summer, when Dyche voiced his frustration as expiring deals saw four senior players leave before the delayed campaign had concluded.