Lyle Foster must fight to help Burnley survive relegation — Dikgacoi

“Keep your head up high, focus, work hard. Fight to help your team Burnley to come out of the difficult situation that they are in.” 

Those were the words of encouragement directed at Burnley striker Lyle Foster. They were from former Bafana Bafana and Crystal Palace midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi.

Since Burnley secured promotion to the English Premier League just a season after being relegated, they have not enjoyed the fruits of their sensational return to the English top-flight under the tutelage of manager Vincent Kompany.

In the relegation zone on number 19

After 33 matches, the Clarets find themselves languishing deep inside the relegation zone on number 19 with 20 points.

Foster, 23, has been an instrumental figure for Burnley at the beginning of the season. He netted four goals and provided three assists in all competitions.

However, his stellar performance would suffer a massive blow after being side-lined due to mental health related issues. Foster has since returned to action and started in the last four games for Burnley.

Having played at the highest level and had successful stints in the Premier League with Fulham, Cardiff City and Palace, Dikgacoi says Foster must keep his head up high and continue fighting to help Burnley survive another relegation.

“Even if I were to pass on words of encouragement to Foster, at the end of the day he doesn’t play alone in that team,” Dikgacoi said during an exclusive interview with Sunday World recently.

Focus on helping team come out of this situation

“However, one would say to him ‘keep your head up high, focus and work hard to help your team to fight. Help your team to come out of the situation that they are in’. Because you never know what will happen at the end of the season or even the next game.

“The Premier League is full of surprises. I was in that position before when I played there [with Palace]. No one believed in us. In fact, people never thought we would make it because it was that tough.

“The club didn’t have enough financial muscle to get in new players. And we were the favourites to get relegated.

“But because we had worked hard, we managed to survive relegation. And [we] finished in one of the best positions ever since the establishment of Crystal Palace.”

With five games remaining until the conclusion of the 2023/2024 Premier League season for Burnley, Foster and co will have to work hard and win all their upcoming games to increase their chances of survival.

Sheffield United

Burnley travel to South Yorkshire to collide with bottom of the log Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday afternoon. Kick-off time is at 4pm (SA time).

Their next run of fixtures include tough encounters against Manchester United, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Nottingham Forest.

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