Darren Randolph: Burnley are not just going to roll over and give us three points
Darren Randolph is predicting another stern test when West Ham United take on Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The Republic of Ireland international has deputised admirably for Łukasz Fabiański in each of the Hammers’ previous two matches, keeping clean sheets in 1-0 wins at Everton and Stockport County in the Premier League and Emirates FA Cup third round respectively.
While it remains to be seen if Randolph will be between the sticks again when Burnley visit London Stadium, or if Fabiański will be back, the 33-year-old knows nothing will come easy against Sean Dyche’s side.
It might be easy to look at certain fixtures on paper and put them down as wins, but teams like Burnley and West Brom are not just going to roll over and give us three points
“We’re in a great position in the Premier League points-wise and we’ve had a very good start,” he told the Official Programme for Saturday’s game, which will kick-off at 3pm and be broadcast live b Amazon Prime Sport.
“It might be easy to look at certain fixtures on paper and put them down as wins, but teams like Burnley and West Brom are not just going to roll over and give us three points, as they are fighting their own battles down the bottom.
“On the flip side, Everton probably thought they would turn up against us and get the win, but it didn’t play out that way and that’s not how the Premier League works.”
Should Randolph be called upon again, the Irishman had the perfect preparation in Monday’s FA Cup tie at Edgeley Park, where swirling winds, heavy rain, a bobbly pitch, a determined Stockport side and even a deafening fireworks display gave him plenty to deal with.
“Burnley are a lot more physical than most other teams in their style of play,” he confirmed. “I’d say they are quite old-fashioned, but they can actually play football as well.
“They may go from back to front quite quick, but once they are in the final third, they will play and pass, and they’ve got dangerous players. They can also play through the midfield as well.”
While the No35 is focused on repelling the threat posed by Burnley, he is also aware how well West Ham are playing themselves.
The Irons are tenth in the table, but sit just three points behind Tottenham Hotspur in fifth ahead, and Randolph believes David Moyes’ squad should be aiming higher than their current position.
“We have more points after 17 games than we had in the 2015/16 season, when we finished on 62 points and in seventh place,” he confirmed.
“There is a lot of talent in this squad, but what sets us or any team apart is our attitude, because every team in the Premier League has a lot of talented players in it.
“We are a very hard-working team, so we manage to keep going and keep working to the very end of every match we play. We definitely have some ingredients in our squad which help us, have helped us and will help us in the future.”