Crystal Palace v Burnley a must-win for Frank de Boer, says Leon McKenzie
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 04/09/17 4:46pm
Crystal Palace’s visit to Burnley on Super Sunday is a "six-pointer" for Frank de Boer, according to former Eagles striker Leon McKenzie.
Palace have yet to score in the Premier League this term and face Sean Dyche's Burnley, live on Sky Sports Premier League, as one of three sides - alongside Bournemouth and West Ham - who have failed to register a point this season.
Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish admitted to Sky Sports News last week he is concerned about their start to the season, adding new manager De Boer is fully aware that Premier League football is a results-based business.
And Croydon-born McKenzie, who started his career with Palace before turning out for clubs including Norwich, Coventry and Charlton, says Sunday's visit to Turf Moor is a must-win game for the Eagles.
"Sunday's game at Burnley is massive. It's a tough, tough game and for me it's a six-pointer even though Burnley are doing well right now," he told Sky Sports.
"When you look at that fixture you have to think that is a winnable game, although I am slightly biased being a former Palace player and a fan.
"The game is on TV, so I'm not sure whether that adds any pressure - but for Frank, in his eyes, this must feel like a must-win game to get Palace's season started.
"You don't want to get into the habit of losing too many games because then you get into the routine of chasing, and when you start chasing in the Premier League it can often be too difficult to pull it back.
"You're always going to be under pressure as a manager when you start off badly, no matter what CV you bring," the Premier League footballer-turned boxer added.
"That is just the day and age that we are in. It's all eyes on you when you are in the Premier League, especially when there is so much money involved and generated now in the top flight. You have to produce straightaway I'm afraid."
Palace's rearguard has been boosted by the £26m Deadline Day signing of Mamadou Sakho, who was instrumental in helping the club avoid relegation during his loan spell at Selhurst Park last season.
McKenzie thinks the Frenchman can again bring defensive stability to the team and expects Palace, who are yet to score in the league this season, to start firing once Wilfried Zaha returns from injury.
"Mamadou is a very, very good signing. Getting him permanently is fantastic but I think Palace are going need to spend some more [in January] and build around that," McKenzie said.
"He was really solid last year and put in a great shift for the team when he joined on loan from Liverpool.
"If you can seal things at the back and secure everything defensively you will always have a chance of staying in this division, and there is enough ability with the Zaha's and so forth for Palace to get some goals."