Football: Burnley ready for Maine test

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The Independent Online
THE Burnley manager, Stan Ternent, realises his team face a tough challenge when they take on First Division Manchester City in the first round, first leg of the Worthington Cup tonight.

Burnley opened the new season with the 1-1 draw at Wycombe while their Lancashire neighbours City were beaten 1-0 at home by Wolves on Sunday.

"It's a smashing game for us and we will start as underdogs but I look forward to going up there and we'll get a game of football, that's for sure," Ternent said. "I was happy with the point at Wycombe as it's important to start off not losing, but there's plenty of room for improvement."

Ternent has the comparative luxury of a full squad to choose from for the clash at Maine Road with John Mullin and Andy Cooke undergoing late fitness tests before the game.

Manchester City await a fitness check on right-back Richard Edghill before their manager, Joe Royle, names his team. "We have a big advantage over Burnley having beaten them 6-0 at their ground last season," said Royle. "They will remember that and it won't be easy."

Royle has handed Paul Dickov, the hero of city's Wembley promotion in May, a new three-year contract.

Millwall return to South Wales with only football on their minds after the weekend game at Cardiff was marred by crowd trouble. The Lions have a full-strength squad for the trip to Swansea, but their manager, Keith Stevens, insists that his side will have to be at their best to make up for last year's 3-0 FA Cup defeat at the hands of the Third Division club. "They did well last year and they gave us a good thumping in the cup so we want to get back at them and try to turn the tables," Stevens said.

It is not often that a former tenant invites the ex-landlord around, but Gillingham will become the first cup visitors when they meet at Brighton's Withdean Stadium. The Brighton manager, Micky Adams, is refusing to get carried away by their opening day 6-0 win over Mansfield. "Gillingham are a good side and I would think they start clear favourites," he said.