Sean Dyche goes in search of a first win in 12 Premier League games against Everton on Saturday, as he looks to mark his 250th game in charge of the Clarets in style.
Dyche accepts three points have been “hard to come by” since climbing to fourth for 24 hours with a 1-0 success against Stoke in mid-December.
But the only pressure on him and his players comes from within, as he prefers to look at an outstanding campaign as a whole, with the side still sat in seventh: “You have your own pressure – we have found a result hard to come by, some not in our hands, some in it.
“I am not one for making too many excuses. Questioned some things last week, below par against Swansea but it’s important not to go too far below our performance level.
“That win is what we are looking for.
“Runs for me and Burnley, it’s more about a season’s work.
“Our challenge is being Burnley in the Premier League. We are in a healthy position of course.
“Not saying we don’t want to win, of course we do, but over a season the points we have is very pleasing.
“Now we need to adjust things, get everyone fit and take on the last 10 games.”
Dyche was linked with the hot seat at Everton before the Toffees named Sam Allardyce as Ronald Koeman’s successor, and, asked whether he ‘dodged a bullet’ from a difficult job, he said: “There was no bullet to dodge for me. I was here, I’m still here. I’ve had a few of them, this is my 250th game, I’m still here, still working, creating an environment to be successful.”
Everton have won only once away from home in the league this season, and sit ninth in the table.
Burnley won 1-0 at Goodison in October, and Dyche looked at the Toffees’ threat: “From the outside looking in, a change of manager often brings change of format, way of working, and very successful Sam has been, over a long period as well.
“Crowds are more powerful than ever, with social media streams, but I know Sam a little bit and he will stick to what is right and proper to get results for the team.
“He will believe in what he does for the right reasons because his success over a number of years speaks volumes.”
Aaron Lennon will come up against Everton for the first time since joining Burnley at the end of January, while Burnley’s record sale Michael Keane makes his first return to Turf Moor.
On Lennon, Dyche is pleased with his impact: “He’s been good. Adapting to what we are.
“He’s been on the left rather than right which is more normal, but think he’s enjoying his football, most players here tend to.”
And he expects a fine reception for Keane, part of the 2016 Championship-title winning side: “I would be amazed if there was anything but a very good reception.
“He was good for Burnley, on the pitch and off the pitch, with the way he conducted himself.
“We will enjoy having him back for a fleeting day.
“It’s been a big change for him, change of format, of system, of ways of playing. It’s okay saying they’ve spent a lot of money, but you still have to mould them into an effective group.
“I’ve seen a few question marks that he wasn’t wanted but he’s just played eight out of 10. We wish him well, apart from on Saturday of course.”