Blake up for challenge ahead

Veteran Clarets striker prepared ahead of two crucial home games

Blake: Ready for challenge ahead

Burnley striker Robbie Blake is ready for the challenge ahead as the Premier League strugglers face a pivotal four days in their season.

The second-from-bottom Clarets first face Stoke at Turf Moor on Wednesday before a further home game against fellow strugglers Wolves on Saturday.

While Brian Laws' side have already been written off by many pundits and tipped for a quick return to the Championship, Blake believes the Clarets can prove their critics wrong.

He believes Burnley can rise to the challenge during a 'massive week' for the club, which could see them pull away from the drop zone by Saturday teatime.

The 34-year-old said: "People are writing us off but there are 10 games to go. It is a bit harsh.

"We are not expected to stay in this league but we know we are good enough to do that.

Under pressure

"It's the teams in and around us who are under pressure. We have just got to believe in ourselves.

"We always create chances and score goals. We have good attacking players. That's what we have got to build on.

"It is a massive week. It is pivotal in the season. If we can get three points against Stoke it will set us up nicely for Wolves.

"We know we are good enough to turn teams over at home. We have got to attack them from the start. If we do that we will get the result we want."

Blake knows they will have their work cut out against a Stoke side he claims are under-rated.

"They don't get the recognition they deserve," said Blake. "They have players who can pass the ball.

"They are a very difficult side to beat but as well as that they play football. We are aware it will be very competitive."

Laws

Burnley boss Laws is pleased to have midfield veteran Graham Alexander and striker Martin Paterson back after injury and hailed the qualities the pair bring to the team.

"Paterson is an enthusiastic player. He is a lad who would chase an empty crisp packet on a windy day," said the Burnley boss. "He has that enthusiasm which spreads to everyone.

"No matter what position he plays in, he gives that impression he would go through a brick wall for you. From a manager's point of view that is fantastic.

"Alexander has the experience and know-how. He is not going to chase the empty crisp packet because he cannot. But he senses danger and you cannot put a price on that."