Sticking to beliefs is paying off '“ boss
Sean Dyche is delighted at the way he and his players have stuck to their beliefs in the Premier League.
And they appear to be getting their rewards, with the safety mark in sight.
Burnley are eight points clear of trouble with six games remaining, and have half an eye on a top 10 finish after confounding the pundits so far.
Dyche knows the job isn’t done yet, but, asked which is tougher, getting a team in the Premier League, or fighting a survival battle, he admitted: “I think they’re both tough in different ways, the Championship is fraught with trouble, and to keep that consistency enough to go and get a team out of the Championship is very hard.
“It’s hard on the players, hard work physically, and hard on the focus, because you have to stay focused every week.
“The Premier League is more difficult because the quality rises, there’s longer periods between games, and the detail...teams have more flexibility because they have more depth, and its kind of that judgement call - sticking to what you believe in, and just flexing it to what you think can be effective at the higher level, and that’s what we’ve done.
“We haven’t gone too far away from what we think is a good way of the team playing. A good gameplan for us, and we’ve just flexed it when we’ve needed to and asked the players to just alter it slightly, rather than go miles away, and so far it’s been productive.”
Dyche has twice steered the Clarets into the top flight, though Burnley were relegated two years ago, and it would be tough to say whether staying up would be the greater achievement: “They’re hard to measure, doing it a second time, coming out of the Premier League and back into the Championship, that’s a difficult one, so that’s an achievement, without a shadow of a doubt.
“And then working with the side like we do, to get the points on the board like we have, we’ll see where that takes us, and judge it at the end of the season.
“We’ve tried to recruit well and there has been growth in the players mentally and physically, their understanding of the division, and its the hardest thing to measure all the time - the details in games, the tiny margins, they seem to be even smaller in the Premier League. We’ve worked hard to get on the right side of the margins, so far.”