Europa League entry would be a 'huge badge of honour', says Burnley boss Dyche

Burnley boss Sean Dyche
Burnley boss Sean Dyche
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Gaining access in to the Europa League would be a huge badge of honour for the Clarets according to boss Sean Dyche.

While qualification remains unsettled mathematically, the only element that realistically needs quantifying is which stage Burnley will enter the competition.

A seventh place finish in the Premier League would see the club involved in the second qualifying round with ties scheduled for July 26th and August 2nd, providing Southampton fail to win the FA Cup.

However, other permutations could push the Clarets straight in to the group stages. Should Burnley beat Arsenal to sixth place they would go in to the draw in Monaco on August 31st with group games starting on September 20th.

That would also be the case should the Gunners overcome Atletico Madrid in the semi-final and go on to emulate what Manchester United achieved last season, with either Red Bull Salzburg or Marseille awaiting the winners.

"If we can get to the Europa League for us, as a club, it would be a huge badge of honour," said Dyche.

"How can it be a negative. It's impossible as the manager of Burnley Football Club to sit here after five-and-a-half years of where we were to where we are now and start weirdly questioning it.

"It's impossible. What comes, comes. Our job is to make a good side of it. It's our job to go there, be successful, take it on and go as hard as we can at it."

The extended route would effect Burnley's pre-season schedule, but Dyche confirmed that it wouldn't be too drastically.

The third qualifying round ties would then sandwich the start of the domestic campaign on August 11th while the play-off dates have been pencilled in for August 23rd with the second leg taking place the following week.

"That doesn’t change things drastically," said Dyche. "I think the first game is 26th – that is naturally coming towards the final part of pre-season anyway, our work, our general work has been done before that.

"Only at the very end of pre-season. Some games are already sorted out, some games have been penciled in and we have had to say we will wait and see.

"You start the planning back in January, February and you can’t guarantee every game but you do have a mutual agreement.

"Now it’s changed to where it is no, we have to tell them, we’re still waiting. It will find a way of working itself out.

"We couldn’t factor it in in January. We were sixth or seventh but there was too much football to be played."

Meanwhile, Dyche isn't concerned by the challenge of playing against previously uncharted European brands of football.

While much is made of styles of play across the continent, the Burnley boss believes that the difference boils down to yardages.

"They are not as drastically different as you'd think," he said. "There are only about four clubs in La Liga that play the Barcelona way. Not many others do.

"The pitch is the same size, there's 11v11, how many different combinations are there? There's 3-5-2, 4-3-3, 4-4-1-1, it's usually only yardages. Between the different combinations it's only a matter of yards.

"The only different one is 3-5-2. Usually it's the individuals within the tactical format that make the difference. If you've got the best individuals, you'll have the best manager. Usually, but not always!"