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Ward says Clarets can silence the Gunners

STEPHEN Ward believes that Burnley can deal with the challenge of facing up to Arsenal next weekend and kick-start their campaign for Premier League survival.

Without a win in 10 games this season, the Clarets have the unenviable task of playing away to Arsenal next weekend, before they take on the likes of Hull, Stoke and Aston Villa.

Even though their last game, at home to Everton, ended in defeat, it was a significant match for Ireland man Ward as he played his first league game in his customary left-back position for the club - that game watched by Martin O'Neill, who will later today name his squad for the qualifier against Scotland and the USA friendly.

And Ward (pictured), who was pleased with his contribution in defence, feels that the underdogs role will suit Burnley.

"The games against the top five or six are very tough and going to Arsenal next week nobody will give us a chance," says Ward. "There's always pressure to perform. We want to go out, give it a go, and hopefully cause an upset. You just never know in this league.

"We've got a run of games where we'll really need to take something from them. People won't give us a chance to stay up now but it's up to us to keep the spirit.

Fighting chance

"We've got a really good group of lads and hopefully in the next four or five games we can start taking points to give ourselves a real fighting chance come the second half of the season."

Meanwhile, Ward feels he slotted in well into the defence in that 3-1 loss to Everton, having filled in as a central midfielder on his previous Premier League start.

"I enjoyed it and I enjoyed being back in there," he said.

"I felt as though I acquitted myself well. We're disappointed, we know they're a good side and they play some good football, but we need to take more of our chances.

" Against teams like Everton it's very difficult. You're coming up against some of the best players in the league."