Burnley boss gets his man

Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche
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CLARETS boss Sean Dyche is hoping his patience in the transfer market will start to pay off after the capture of his first signing.

Dyche landed Fulham’s Sweden international midfielder Alex Kacaniklic on loan for the rest of the season on Friday - his first new face after taking over the reins at the end of October.

But while Kacaniklic was known to him after taking him on loan while Watford boss last season, Dyche feels the changes to the network behind the scenes at Turf Moor will start to reap dividends in unearthing new talent.

In has come Lee Darnbrough as head of recruitment to oversee transfer business, contract negotiations and performance analysis, and Dyche said: “We’ve been searching. We’re building a recruitment department that’s in process, so we have to rely on some old contacts as well as that one that’s being built and put together.

“But we’re on the search because we want that demand.

“I’m not settling for just doing all right. Doing all right gets you nothing.

“We want that demand and the best people to bring the demand other than the manager and the coaches are the players.”

Dyche wanted Kacaniklic - who made his debut in the 1-0 win at Charlton on Saturday and is in line for his Turf Moor bow against Barnsley tonight - from the moment he walked through the door at the club.

Asked how long the deal was in the pipeline, he smiled: “About 12 minutes after I got told I was getting the job!

“There were three or four, we haven’t been able to get them, but I made it clear there were three or four people I felt were important.

“A club like Burnley can’t just go throwing money around like some of the big names in the Championship. We have to shop wisely.

“Alex is someone who Fulham trusted me to help him develop at Watford, and that trust has probably been paid back by them saying ‘yes, okay, we want him to continue playing’.

“He’s played in the Premier League this season, they want to keep him playing and develop further, and they felt me and my staff were people who could help him do that.

“We’re thankful of that and we’re happy to have him and we’ll see how it progresses from here.”

After 15 Premier League appearances and three goals this season, the 21-year-old’s future is very much at Craven Cottage, but Dyche hopes he can help the Clarets end the season strongly after ending a run of six games without a win a The Valley.

Asked if a permanent move was out of the question, Dyche smiled: “I’m imagining it would be but if it’s not I’d be buzzing – I might even get my own money out to sign him!

“He’s a young talent.

“He’s a very good player but he’s 30 games or so into his career so he’s got more development to come.

“He’s hungry for development and all credit to him.

“I won’t say who, but there were some clubs you would deem bigger than us who were sniffing after him and he’s chosen to come to us because he thinks that will help his development.

“He’s a bright lad. I’ve got to know him quite well and he thinks deeply about his football.

“I’m impressed with him as a person, not just a player.

“It’s early days yet but we’ll see what he can help us build here.”

Meanwhile, it was confirmed 22-year-old centre back Kevin Long has signed a new two-year contract with an option of a third year on Friday, and he celebrated with a clean sheet and first win for the club at The Valley.

Dyche feels his emergence, and the likes of Danny Lafferty, bode well: “That’s his fifth Championship performance. There are people earning their spurs.

“Even this awkward run we’ve been on they can grow from that experience because it’s not all roses and an easy life.

“That’s something we’ve been working to change here. We don’t want comfort, we want people who are trying for more and want more and that stimulus to get more.

“The more young players who come in it puts the older guard on guard. They’ve got thoughts now.

“Marvin Bartley and David Edgar came in and delivered a performance physically, the way they went about it.

“Ross Wallace, Duffo and Ben Mee – people like that – they’ve all got to get back fit and they’ve got to get in the team.”

That trio, as well as Chris McCann and Dean Marney sat out Saturday’s win, and Dyche spoke of their fitness ahead of tonight’s clash with Barnsley: “They’ve got a chance. I don’t know how clear it is yet.

“But we then don’t play until the following Monday, which gives that extra couple of days on top of the week’s planning.”

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