Burnley looking to get back on even keel after Europa League experience

Burnley manager Sean Dyche issues instructions during the game.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche issues instructions during the game.
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Clarets boss Sean Dyche hopes his side are getting back on an even keel after their European exploits.

Burnley returned to European competition for the first time since 1967/68, after finishing seventh last season.

But while the Clarets failed to make the group stage, the six qualifying ties they played ate into their pre and early-season preparations, and Dyche said: “I still wouldn’t take away the experience but it does challenge you.

“It is well documented about everyone that goes into the competition, and it is documented for a reason. We knew that. But I was thinking ‘come on, let’s have our version of it’.

“Then when you go through it and you look back and you reflect on it, you understand why it’s well documented, you understand why all the managers come off it and go ‘massive challenge’.

“We went four games with 16 players. Dwight McNeil played in two, and I think Dwight’s a very good player and he continues to develop, but the point is that’s what we were down to. I think that shows where our squad was at, at that time. It’s difficult, without a doubt.”

He added: “It’s not really getting it out of your system, it’s just that it’s so new and a different experience, that it’s bound to have a change in the psyche because you’ve never been through it before, me included in that and some of the players. The peculiar feel of it, the travel, all of that.

“I don’t know if we’re getting it out of our system but factually it’s gone, it’s been parked. Then on the back of that, we’ve had these injuries.

“Really what I’m waiting for and hoping for is everyone getting fit, and then we’ve got that in-house competitive element and then the games programme of course.

“We haven’t had that all season, when we go ‘Right, okay, where are we going with this now? Where are we as a group going?’

“In the meantime we’re fighting hard and working to get points on the board to make sure that we’re intact for that period when everyone is available, because eventually everyone gets a level playing field when they’re all fit and they’re all well.”