Vincent Kompany insists Burnley aren't focused on what's going on at Manchester United
Burnley manager Vincent Kompany says their preparation for the Premier League clash against Manchester United is not at all affected by the media frenzy surrounding the club.
United lost 4-3 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday night to continue an early-season slump which has already seen them lose three of their opening five Premier League fixtures.
With off-field issues also mounting for Ten Hag, the pressure will be on United to deliver a result at Turf Moor, but Kompany is interested only in his own players.
“I only try and assess (United) in a way that I need to do for my team, their strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “I’ve been in a big club before and I know what it is when you lose a couple of games. Pressure can mount but it’s not for me to talk about them. I focus on the pitch…
“We’re not busy with what is happening at the other team, that doesn’t concern us. I have to myself manage the results of our team and the performances.
“I think we’re a calm camp, we’re at a place where we feel there is something really exciting ahead of us and we want to build on that moment. Everything that happens elsewhere is not our concern.”
Kompany is looking to build on the positive signs shown in Monday’s 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest, Burnley’s first point of the season and one that could have been all three but for a contentious VAR decision that ruled out Lyle Foster’s late strike for a handball by Sander Berge.
After three consecutive home defeats to Manchester City, Aston Villa and Tottenham, the draw was a welcome step forward.
“We’ve had three games against three of the top eight sides in the league and the gap has always been there,” Kompany said. “Against Forest we felt we were on an even playing field. Now it’s up to us to close the gap to the teams at the top.
“I’m really looking forward to this game to see if we’ve made those steps forward. I really believe in the attacking threat in our team in terms of being able to create something and I hope that shows on Saturday.”
Although Burnley’s first season back in the top flight began with three straight home games – a situation caused by the postponement of their trip to Luton in August – they were thrown in at the deep end, with the reigning champions first to visit before Villa and Spurs.
Even given United’s troubles, Saturday’s 8pm kick-off appears no easier, and Kompany knows his side need to deliver more consistency over the course of a full match.
“I really want (Turf Moor) to become a difficult place for any team to come,” he said. “At this moment in time when we have played against teams of the calibre of United it’s fair to say we haven’t been able to put in a 100-minute performance.
“We’ve always had a threat, good spells, but we’ve got punished in spells when we weren’t at our best.
“For us it’s looking at this game and saying, ‘Can we step it up and get a result against one of the best teams in the league?’.
Burnley will need to do that without Foster, who has scored two of their four Premier League goals so far this season. The South African saw red late on at the City Ground on Monday and starts a three-game suspension.
“We’ve built a decent squad and there’s a few players I’d like to see anyway,” Kompany said. “It’s for someone else now to step into those shoes, give it their own flavour and hopefully it pays off on the day.”