Burnley captain Ben Mee believes there is an incentive for his team to close the gap to their Premier League relegation rivals ahead of the trip to Manchester United on Thursday.
The Clarets are ready to return to action for the first time in 18 days with a visit to Old Trafford after matches against Watford, Aston Villa and Everton were all postponed due to Covid-19.
This is before they meet Leeds United this weekend, where Marcelo Bielsa’s team currently has five points and two places over them in the table after playing three extra matches.
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Leeds have also seen their last two matches canceled after a Covid-19 outburst in the squad after they were expected to take on Liverpool on Boxing Day and Villa on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, the relegation battle is set to be a close one heading into the second half of the campaign, as Newcastle United have taken up since Eddie Howe was appointed, while Watford and Norwich City have failed to win any of their most recent five matches.
It gives Burnley the opportunity to climb the table and Leeds will be in their binoculars given the points difference and the fact that the two teams meet on Elland Road on Sunday.
Mee admits, however, that the recent postponements have been ‘frustrating’, but he claimed that it is an opportunity for his team to collect more points in the new year.
He told Burnley’s official club website: “It has been frustrating for all of us, for everyone involved and also for the fans, especially at this time of year.
“We were prepared for all the matches, of course late notice for the first couple, but for the 2nd of Christmas there was a little more notice.
“Our team is in a good place at the moment, so we were a little disappointed that those matches were canceled.
“Everything has to be rearranged now, and it will be a busy schedule for us in the new year.
“You want points on the board, you don’t want games in hand, but seeing the teams around us not really move much gives us a good incentive to take some points and move up the table.”
Burnley currently sit in 18th place with 11 points from their first 15 games before the game against Ralf Rangnick’s Red Devils, while Newcastle in 19th place and bottom of Norwich have 10 points after four more games.
Meanwhile, Watford (13) are just above the bottom three and will face Tottenham Hotspur on New Year’s Day.