Burnley manager Sean Dyche has admitted that a number of individuals on our playing staff have earned the right to be talked about when it comes to the England national side, but ultimately the choice is Gareth Southgate’s.
With the England gaffer set to be in attendance at Turf Moor later today when we host Everton in the Premier League – should the game not fall foul of the weather – Southgate will have his eyes on a number of players at both clubs and speaking to the Official Site in the build up to the game, Dyche admits he had particular delight at the work going on behind the scenes at the club when it came to turning players into current or potential future internationals.
In recent times Tom Heaton and Jack Cork saw their form receive call ups and Nick Pope is simply the latest to be touted by the media for England honours.
‘The journey here is about winning, but what often gets overlooked is the amount of good work done by my staff and the players themselves. Nick Pope is a case in example. A very short time ago he was playing at Charlton and they were relegated from the Championship. Now, we read he is being considered for England and a possibility for a World Cup. The work that Billy Mercer has put in, also with Tom Heaton, and all my staff here with players like Michael Keane, Kieran Trippier, Danny Ings, Charlie Austin, Andre Gray and, to bring it up to date with Tarky, Ben Mee and Corky. All these stories are just as important to me. Not more important by the way, because winning is absolutely vital in how I work and what I believe, but alongside that playing our part in player development is very, very important.’
‘Sometimes that goes under the radar, but it certainly doesn`t with us because we watch these lads closely and try and help them, with the environment and culture, to be successful not just in their own rights, but also for Burnley Football Club.’
In terms of what it meant for the club as a whole, he went on to explain.
‘We`ve got the two goalkeepers, ‘Tarky’, Ben Mee and Corky. The good thing is that we are trying to achieve here with this group is there is a lot of players who, all of a sudden, look to be in the thoughts of the national set-up – and that wasn`t always the case at Burnley Football Club, so we should all be proud of that. If they make it into the national squad, that`s great and if they make it to a big tournament, then that`s out of this world, from where we were five years ago. There are certainly individuals here who have earned the right, but being picked is a different thing and that`s up to Gareth.’
Dyche was quick to say he had a good relationship with Southgate, but obviously he won’t be in his ear about selections as it’s not his job and it wouldn’t be fair to Southgate if any manager did that, as it has to be his choice.
‘I get on well with him, I respect him and I want him to do really well, but he will decide who is up for it and who he feels he could use. But what I would say is it`s more in our favour as a football club because we do carry a lot of British, and of course English players. They are playing regularly and hopefully putting themselves in the reckoning.’