Alexander keen to break Burnley jinx

Burnley's veteran captain Graham Alexander is urging his troops to break their Championship away jinx at Carrow Road this weekend.

The Clarets have yet to win away from Turf Moor since being relegated from the top flight last season but ground out a dogged draw at early pacesetters QPR on Saturday.

Alexander led Burnley into the Premier League via the play-offs two seasons ago but is not ruling out an automatic spot if they can pick up wins on the road.

'I've been in this division a long time, and you can be miles away at Christmas and go on a late run, but we want to be up there, higher than we are now,' he said.

'We don't think eighth place is a good position for us within the squad, we think we should be competing for the top two.

'But we have to pick up points away from home as well as at home. That's the aim for the whole squad, and if we can do that, we should be there or thereabouts.

'It's a tight division, it always is, and basically we've just got to win games. We're not getting too uptight about it, we know we've been to some tough places, Ipswich, Middlesbrough, Swansea, QPR, even Sheffield United, who are struggling, but Bramall Lane is always a tough place to play.

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'We're sure if we keep banging at the door, and keep believing in ourselves, the wins will come.

'There is no apprehension in the ranks that we can't win away from home, so we'll go to Norwich and give our all again.'

Burnley's club captain and last season's player of the year made his league debut for Scunthorpe as far back as 1991, just a few weeks after City midfielder Korey Smith, a potential opponent on Saturday, was born.

And his first appearance at the equivalent of Championship level – then known as Endsleigh League Division One – came when he made his debut for Luton against the Canaries on the opening day of the 1995-96 season.

Former winger Neil Adams, who scored in City's 3-1 victory at Kenilworth Road that day, paid tribute to Alexander's longevity as the defensive midfielder prepares to take on the class of 2010.

'Players can now play for longer in the game and that is down mainly to two things – the advances in sports science and medical technology, and the players looking after themselves,' he said.

'It used to be the case that in your early 30s you were over the hill and heading into retirement and there were very few 35-year-olds playing at a decent level.

'They may have gone down the leagues or into non-League, but there were not many players in the top two divisions at that age.

'But Gordon Strachan did it, Teddy Sheringham did it and now Graham Alexander. It's a tribute to his professionalism that he is playing at that level.'