Boss has been incredible - Heaton

Clarets boss Sean Dyche is currently the highest placed English manager in the Premier League, ahead of the weekend fixtures.

Friday, 20th January 2017, 10:30 pm
Tom Heaton

Dyche will oversee his 200th game in charge of Burnley against Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.

But he is often overlooked when it comes to talk about potential England coaches, with former Burnley boss Eddie Howe seemingly more widely touted by the national media and pundits.

There is a perception that Dyche's more traditional values and ideals are not as 'sexy' as Howe's brand of attractive passing football, but skipper Tom Heaton feels Dyche is very modern in his ways.

Asked whether Dyche doesn't seem to get as much praise as Howe, Heaton said: "I don’t know too much about the wider perception, all I can give you is my own and he’s been absolutely incredible.

"The job he’s done with the club, the players, how things have moved forward, the infrastructure away from the ground, the team every week.

"It’s difficult for me to speak highly enough of him.

"I’d be surprised if there wasn’t only positive things coming out of it from people’s perception, and if that wasn’t the case I’d urge them to take a closer look."

Howe has performed minor miracles at Bournemouth, though they have had significant financial backing in recent times.

Burnley will have the smallest budget in the Premier League again, however, and Heaton added: "Without knowing the details, it has been bandied around quite a bit and it’s right.

"That puts it into perspective and if you don’t take note of that you’ve got a problem.

"He’s been absolutely outstanding. I can’t talk highly enough of him."

Dyche has often spoken of the values he learned under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest, and Heaton believes Dyche has taken those and given them a modern twist: "I wouldn’t ever try to put a pigeon hole on it. We’re flexible in our thinking, that’s how he comes across.

"He’s flexible with how we go about the game, different formations and things like that.

"Old fashioned is ridiculous to me, there’s a lot of science behind it,

"I think that would be way off the mark."

Heaton was Dyche's first permanent signing in the summer of 2013, and the bond he has created at Turf Moor is better than any the England international has experienced elsewhere: "That’s set by the manager. You need the right character of players, we try and police ourselves the best we can. "You set the rules and give the freedom to do it. It’s more the manager than me, he’s got thesecret because we’ve had it since I’ve been at the club, more than so anywhere else I’ve been in the game.

"I think everyone says that, even the players that leave, they miss that, everyone pulling in the same direction.

"We’ve got it and it’s important we safeguard it and keep it going."

That bond helps give Burnley an edge in tight games, as shown at Turf Moor, with five home wins secured by one-goal margin, with a number of late winners in that sequence.

Burnley only won four home games in the Premier League two seasons ago, and Heaton explained: "We have a little bit of experience and a bit more belief once people have been there and done it.

"We’ve added in quality, we’ve got better, we’ve evolved, we got strength in depth.

"But it’s fine margins. It’s important you try and keep moving things forward.

"One of the biggest factors in that is the experience. You realise you might need to weather that storm to stay in the game and for someone to pop up and put one it.

"It was all new to us first time around."