The challenge hasn't changed

Sean Dyche insists the challenge hasn't changed in Burnley's pursuit of safety.

Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 10:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 8th April 2017, 10:24 pm
Sean Dyche

And he knows full well the Clarets still have a job to do to get over the line.

Many pundits had been forced to change their opinion of the Clarets, having given them no chance of staying up, before considering them virtually safe as they moved 10 points clear of trouble with 14 games to go.

Five games later, that cushion has been cut to five points, but, ahead of tonight’s game at home to Stoke City, Dyche’s focus hasn’t changed.

He said: “It’s such a tough division, there’s no gimmies, ‘oh well, it’s alright now’, we know that.

“Hull have won, and that makes it a different story again, it changes every week, but we’re not focused on that, we’re focused on the fact we have another important game coming up, we’ll get through that and make sense of it again, and move onto the next one.

“That’s our focus. It’s been like that every since I’ve been at the club, we can only take one step at a time, and that’s what we intend to do.”

Burnley suffered only a fourth home defeat of the season against Spurs on Saturday, but, having taken 29 of their 32 points this season at Turf Moor, was it more keenly felt?: “If it is (a bigger impact when lose at home), that’s a great sign.

“Obviously, as the season goes on, things adjust during the season,. people forget we were given no chance of even being in the division, let alone anything else, and now we’re doing what we’re doing.

“We haven’t lost sight of the realities, we know it’s a tough challenge and it still will be, there’s important games coming up for everyone.”

Dyche experienced relegation with Burnley two years ago, but the Clarets are better placed than in their previous two Premier League campaigns to stave off the drop: “I think it’s about understanding the reality of the challenge, but I think the players do, to be fair.

“A lot of them were here two years ago, and we have brought in new players as well, and the staff understand it.

“We also understand the gaps in the Premier League. These are bonus points if you take these boys on and beat them, because they are so strong.

“Spurs are strong, as are Chelsea, and we got a point against them.

“We know the reality of our market, and we also know the reality of the division.

“We do have to take everyone on with a purpose to win, and I thought we did that, I just thought that after the first goal they were the better side.

“They’ve shown that against many teams.”