View From The Town End: Burnley

Clive Brunskill

Hands up who had this down as a game that would see Reading travelling to face the league leaders? After a fantastic start, recently crowned manager of the month Sean Dyche has led his team to the top of the table backed by the lethal strikerforce of Sam Vokes and Danny Ings. To get some more information on tomorrow's opponents we spoke to Jamie Smith from Burnley blog NoNayNever.

How would you sum up Burnley's season so far?

Tremendous. Top after ten matches is beyond anyone's wildest expectations. We've lost once, at Brighton, when our goalie was harshly sent off, we're still in the cup, we've won four away games, we've won 3-0 three times - it's hard to say how it could be any better!

It's been a topsy turvy few years since you earned promotion to the Premier League in 2009, do you think the club is in a stronger position than it was before Coyle took you up?

Hard to judge really. Financially we seem very similar to pre-promotion, relying on the board to write cheques to keep us going. We spent nothing on players this summer, not even reinvesting the Charlie Austin cash. We've got a cracking pitch and improved training facilities out of the PL money, but it wasn't really used to boost the playing squad, which is very thin. That said, our ragtag bunch of misfits and rejects are doing pretty well so far! Coyle bought two £1m players before the promotion season, Dyche has had virtually nowt to work with and is performing miracles at the moment. Perhaps a small squad suits his methods.

Any fond memories of Burnley v Reading?

Well, the play-off semi a few years ago obviously stands out. Andre Bikey's tantrum was probably the highlight of the tight first leg at our gaff, but we were fantastic in the second leg and scored two of the most ridiculous goals you'll ever see. I think Brian Jensen also performed heroics when we beat you at home in the league that season too.

Any not so fond ones?

I was looking over our cup record this week and we seem to get knocked out by you fairly regularly, so we'll have to try and avoid you in future!

Who should Reading be worried about on Saturday?

Our strikeforce is the best in the league at the moment even after Austin was sold and not replaced. Danny Ings and Sam Vokes (dubbed Vings on our podcast) have both started the season on fire. Vokes is a mobile target man who will cause problems for anyone and Ings can produce moments of real inspiration. The rest of the side is a solid base set up keep things tight and rely on that pair to do the business. It's working a treat so far. David Jones and Jason Shackell have both been excellent as well.

Anyone you're not looking forward to facing?

I rate Billy Sharp highly so I'm hoping he won't be playing, although our defence has already kept some excellent strikers quiet this season and Tom Heaton has been outstanding in goal since signing on a free this summer. I think we're still a bit susceptible to searing pace. It will be interesting to see how our full-backs cope with whoever plays wide for you as you seem to have a strong set of wingers, much as we do in fact.

Score prediction?

We've won five on the bounce so I have to go for a home win, although Reading will probably be the best side we've played so far. Confidence is flowing, Dean Marney will be back and our strikers can't stop scoring. 2-1 Burnley.

Any advice for travelling Royals?

Don't drink under the Culvert. The cricket club right next to Turf Moor is a good pre-match boozing spot and you can park there as well if you're early enough (although be prepared for a bit of a wait to get out after the game). Enjoy the trip!

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