Clarets Corner with John Greenwood: This time around, it’s different as January closes

Having had time for a breather, Burnley are set to face what was once the Roker Roar on Saturday afternoon when they visit Sunderland at the Black Cats’ Stadium Of Light.

If Burnley looked jaded against Crystal Palace in the freezing conditions at Turf Moor two weeks ago, manager Sean Dyche will want them firing on all cylinders again at what could well be a crucial game in the Premier League relegation fight.

After this game, and the one the following Sunday lunchtime against West Brom, Burnley face a trickier set of matches by far, taking in the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United on their home turf.

Last time Burnley were at this stage of the season in the Premier League, the plug had effe ctively just been pulled by Owen Coyle, though frankly, the extent of the damage took a while to sink in.

This time the team are well placed and up for the fight. Here’s hoping that a successful second half of the season begins this weekend (and apologies for that to my old mate Peter “Hessie” Heslop, a Sunderland fan now back in the north east after years in Tod, who loves his football ).