Coyle Hoping To Cap Fabulous Start
Burnley boss Owen Coyle believes a win over Birmingham City on Saturday would make it a "fabulous" start to the season for the Clarets.
Coyle's braves would go into the latest international break with 12 points and at least a mid-table position if they can secure a fourth successive home victory this season against the Blues.
And after a daunting run of away games, which are yet to yield a point, that would represent a major success from the opening seven weeks of their inaugural Barclays Premier League campaign.
"People have to recognise that we have played the top four and six of the top nine and the other game was Stoke City away, which was a fortress last year," said Coyle, ahead of a reunion with Blues boss Alex McLeish.
"I have been disappointed by the scorelines with which we've lost away from home, but there has been so much to be pleased about and so much positive to look forward to and that's always been my take on it.
"It's important that people don't over-analyse, whether it's home or it's away.
"Regardless of whether you are Burnley or Manchester United, I think going to Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham are going to be tough games for anybody.
"People have to get that balance between expectation and realism.
"We have played well for parts in all those games, but what we have to do is do it consistently for 90 minutes and, again, not over-analyse the situation.
"We know we can get points home or away. What we are trying to do is gather points and momentum and keep it going.
"We are after three points on Saturday and if we can get them it will be a fabulous start to the Premier League.
"But we will have to work very hard to go and earn those points before anything happens."
One of Coyle's primary tasks this season has been to try and manage expectation levels away from the dressing room by maintaining a consistent outlook regardless of results, ranging from the home win over Manchester United to last Saturday's reverse at White Hart Lane.
"Fans being fans they always want the best for their team. What I am saying is you have to strike a balance," he added.
"We would love to win the league but that's never going to happen in this day and age with finance and everything else.
"What we have to do is give ourselves a fighting chance to retain our Premier League status.
"We have fought hard to earn the right to be here, which we did with 61 games, the fewest amount of players in the Championship and a budget and revenue that was probably being in the bottom four in the league.
"So we have shown we can do it against all the odds and that's what we are trying to do again."
Saturday's visit of Birmingham, who are 14th in the table after coming up with Burnley last season, is the first of three home games from the next four for the Clarets.
And it will mean another friendly battle of wits between McLeish and Coyle, who previously played under the Blues' boss in a successful stint at Motherwell.
"We shared a lot of nice moments together and when he was Scotland manager he took time out when they were preparing to play Italy to ring Brendan (Flood) and the chairman with a glowing recommendation of myself, so you don't forget these things," said Coyle.
"He knows I have a lot of time for him so it will be good to catch up, but he also knows that both of us will be going all out to win the game."
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