Our focus is winning - Clarets boss Sean Dyche ahead of East Lancashire derby
Sean Dyche won't get entangled in the emotion of the East Lancashire derby but the Carabao Cup tie against arch rivals Blackburn Rovers is a fixture that the Clarets boss is taking very seriously.
Dyche doesn't differentiate between games, whether it be a pre-season friendly, a Premier League match a cup game or, indeed, a derby, with the importance centred on winning whatever is riding on the outcome.
The Burnley boss feels that the euphoria, which grabs supporters, can be a distraction for players and so they'll treat tonight's outing at Ewood Park like any other game.
“I just don’t get that emotional about these things," he said. “One game doesn’t make a season. That’s one thing I know for sure.
“That’s the nature of games like this. Fan mentality is always different because they’ve lived it and breathed it all of their lives.
“I’ve mentioned many times, I’m not from here and don’t understand the depth of it. Of course I understand the game, but the real depth of the feeling going down years and years through families and generations and all of that, that’s for the fans. Our focus is winning.
“The fans’ focus is on all the other stuff, and rightly so, because that’s what gives it that passion and pride. Our job is to focus on playing well and winning. That’s my job and it’s the team’s job."
Dyche added: "I'm taking it as seriously as every game that I’ve ever taken in my career. I’m a great believer that when that whistle blows, you’ve got to be ready to play it.
"Every game counts, for whatever reason, whether it’s in pre-season, when the mentality’s growing. I think it’s fair to say the only games are probably in the very early part of pre-season, when you have 45 minutes for each player, literally fitness is the key.
"Beyond that, as soon as that seriousness starts coming and the season gets closer, then all the games are serious for me, and this one is definitely serious. It’s another game for me, I just want to win. It’s as simple as that."
Dyche is expected to make tweaks to his starting XI for the latest instalment of this historic battle.
Record signing Chris Wood could make his debut following his move from Leeds United while the likes of Nick Pope, Charlie Taylor, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Ashley Westwood, Scott Arfield, Ashley Barnes and Jonathan Walters will presumably be in Dyche's thinking.
However, whatever the line-up, the Turf Moor chief believes in each and every one of his players and is happy with the strength in depth of his squad.
"Well, I think we’ve changed," said Dyche. "When you look at the group, there are players who didn’t play on Saturday who have been bought in here for millions of pounds.
"The building process year on year has allowed us to have a deeper group. So if I do change the side, there are players who I absolutely believe in, players who have played in the Premier League.
"I haven’t decided yet. There are a couple who will maybe come and play. It’s just another game where we’ll put out a team that can win, that’s always the way that I look at football."
Dyche won't be embroiled in statistics either. The Clarets go in to the clash unbeaten in six meetings and having come out on top in the last three. In fact it's been more than seven years since they last experienced defeat.
That, though, doesn't concern the Burnley boss who declared that there's a bigger picture to all of this. That picture hangs in the form of the Premier League.
“Everyone wants to be in the Premier League so it’s a given that that’s the biggest competition," he said.
“I don’t know any manager who disrespects the cup but they know that the biggest thing is the Premier League, because it factually is for football clubs.
“I think most fans want their team to be playing at the top level, which in this country is the Premier League.
“Most fans want to see their team performing at the highest level they can.
“If you add the business side of it as well we all know the numbers that are involved.
“In my view it’s nothing to do with disrespecting cups, it’s just the simple facts of football."