Burnley rally around Ashley Barnes controversy ahead of Swansea match

Dyche defends Barnes tackle (1:52)

Burnley manager Sean Dyche speaks about Ashley Barnes' controversial tackle on Chelsea's Nemanja Matic. (1:52)

Burnley striker Ashley Barnes has been vilified in the media for a rash challenge on Chelsea's midfielder Nemanja Matic in the club's 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge last weekend, but the striker is not the kind of man to let the outcry affect his game.

Barnes escaped an FA charge for his follow-through on Matic and he will lead the line again for Burnley alongside Danny Ings on Saturday, with Swansea City the visitors to Turf Moor.

Manager Sean Dyche has been keen to play down the incident in the last few days and put the drama behind his team. It is a shame that Jose Mourinho was able to manipulate the press to such an extent that the excellent performance by the Clarets at Stamford Bridge was mostly forgotten.

The overblown reaction to Barnes by the press could work in Burnley's favour if Dyche is able to cultivate a siege mentality at Turf Moor. Fans are likely to show their support for Barnes on Saturday, which will give the previously underappreciated forward a lift.

All eyes will be on Barnes and he has the strength of character to come up with a big performance when it counts the most. He may also need to rein in his aggressive play slightly as referee Jon Moss will be on the lookout for any overly physical battles he has with defenders.

Despite only winning one of their last 10 league matches, Burnley go into this weekend's game in confident mood after matching Manchester United and Chelsea in their last two fixtures.

It is so tight at the bottom of the Premier League that any positive result is good news, but Dyche's men are in the middle of such a tough run of fixtures that the visit of the Swans takes on extra significance. A win could be the difference at the end of the season with home games running out fast and Swansea are the lowest ranked team Burnley will play for many weeks.

Garry Monk's side has been inconsistent this year, brilliant one week and mediocre the next. Selling striker Wilfried Bony to Manchester City has left them without a genuine top level goal threat.

Burnley will therefore see this match as a fantastic chance to get points on the board and climb out of the bottom three, although the likes of Ashley Williams, Jonjo Shelvey and Nathan Dyer are very good Premier League players and it will not be an easy game.

Dyer had a loan spell at Turf Moor as a teenager but his game has developed beyond all recognition since then. His searing pace could cause serious issues against a defence that has often struggled against speedy players this season.

Another former Claret star, Jack Cork, will also be given a warm welcome on his return. Cork spent 18 months on loan from Chelsea at Burnley between the end of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 campaigns. It was a shame a permanent move for the classy midfielder was never a realistic proposition for the club due to his wage demands. He would have been a fantastic addition, especially given how few options Dyche has in midfield.

Swansea are a fine example of how a smaller club can rise through the leagues and use careful management to establish themselves in the top flight. Burnley can learn a lot of lessons from their experience.

Dyche against Monk is another one of the game's intriguing subplots with the two bosses among the brightest young English managers in the Premier League.

Both men were tough, no-nonsense defenders during their playing days and are in their first full season of management at this level, exceeding expectations at their clubs. Monk has been underestimated for his work at Swansea but Dyche will be aiming to come out on top on Saturday.