Date: 30th March 2017 at 8:37pm
Written by:

With Burnley going into the final two months of the 2016/17 campaign and looking up the table rather than at the relegation places, manager Sean Dyche has been giving his thoughts on the differences between our two Premier League experiences in recent years.

Speaking to Sky Sports this week as he cast his eye back on the last seven odd months and our clear progress in the top flight, Dyche explained that with nine games left, clearly there were things we could still improve upon but he had to be pleased with our 32 points and 13th placed spot in the table.

‘It’s probably different for us. Two years ago we had a lot on and off the field to correct at the club and you are sitting in part of the building that we have just moved into. That was a decision from myself and the board, a collective decision amongst all the stakeholders at the club that this needed to be done. So to now be back in the Premier League two years later with this great facility and also with good points on the board at this stage – but there is still plenty of work to do – then I think it’s partly down to everyone, not just what we’ve built here but the alignment of the club to realise how to layer and layer and layer, get the bricks in place on the journey to making the club stronger as a whole. And I think it certainly is at this moment.’

Dyche went on to admit that everybody at the club was continuing to learn our our journey and he was no different to the players or the staff on that front as you’re always searching to be better, more productive and cleverer in everything we do.

‘Absolutely. I think beyond the hiccups along the way it is pretty well recognised. I think people think generally there is a good feeling about Burnley Football Club. Even if they didn’t know much about us, they understand we have done some good work here. Certainly before me, and in my time here which is about four-and-a-half years. I think myself, my staff, the players and the fans. The fans have played a massive part of it. The board, along with the chief executive have been important factors. You want to be in the Premier League on an ongoing basis. The challenge is not finished, it’s an onward journey and we want to keep building.’

Pressed on his own development as a manager when it came to man management in the game, he went on to say.

‘Yeah, kind of. There’s always something going on at a football club. It’s not just about players, there’s a lot going on. Whether you are learning about yourself or learning about other departments, sometimes it is about the players. There is a lot going on, and you are always adding as many details as you can to your own tool kit, if you like. And then really hoping that all those skills come together when you really need them.’

He went on to add.

‘I remember the saying ‘it’s easy to take the wheel of a ship in calm water’. Really you need your tool kit when things aren’t going as well because football has a funny way about it. When results are going well and the feel-good factor is there everything seems to slightly look after itself. But the imaginary tool kit, like I spoke about, that’s really for the times when things aren’t so good. What can you use? What skills have you got to guide everyone through that, so that’s a key part of it as well.’

It probably sums up Dyche’s approach to his career really, but asked what advice he would’ve given himself when he was younger, given what he knows now, he answered.

‘The main one is to listen more and speak less. I’ve learned that over the years, not necessarily as a coach and a manager, but towards the end of my playing career, I was always quite strong with my opinion. I remember as I got older I started listening a bit more and had a bit more depth to my thought. I think I was already doing it, but now I probably look back and think that’s an even bigger part. And I realise there are a lot of good things about football and even football management. It’s stressful and it’s hard work. Just remember there are a few knocks along the way. As long as you can deal with that then you will pretty much be alright.’

Pushed for the best piece of advice he was given, clearly it hit home for him when he was a kid given how he approaches life at Burnley and our often spoken about ‘attitude’ towards improvements.

‘The best piece of advice I’ve been given and I referenced it recently in an interview, was my Sunday League manager when I was a little kid aged seven. When I first started playing, there was a fella called Jim Hoover, I still speak to him now and again now. I remember him saying as a kid ‘a great attitude is everything’. And I remember distinctly and clearly even though at a very young age I wasn’t understanding the words. I understood them on reflection, of course. As I got older I kept hearing about people having good attitudes and people having bad attitudes. The words were always ringing in my head. So that’s a big thing for me – a great attitude is everything.’

That brought him nicely to questions about Burnley ‘punching above their weight’ and rather than it being an irritation he knew there was a truth to it, but that again belies our attitude.

‘No. I think there’s a reality to it. It’s a club that have always done that historically. There’s varying stories down the years. I’ve had one here myself when two days before the season we sold Charlie Austin, who was a massive player for us at that time, but that was because the club had to. To make sure the club was on a sound financial footing a decision was made. And there are various stories through the years about Burnley having to do that. Very small town, great numbers go into the ground, great support system for such a small place. They’ve had to fight. And it’s not just the football team round these parts. I’ve come to realise people have had some tough times up here and the one thing they are never lacking is a bit of fight and the ability to dig in. So I think that is a thing I’ve been proud of – that the team have shown some of those qualities to the fans.’

As for the future, it’s very much continue as we are with step by step progress and a clear aim of where we want to go.

‘Well it’s a so-far story for us. And for myself it’s been a longer building process. With a club we’ve had to make ends meet all the way through, we’ve not had a backer who has put too much money in, as an individual I’ve had to build, we’ve had to put layer on layer on layer, the success and development of the team and then off the pitch build this facility. It’s not just me, by the way, it’s good staff, good players, a good boardroom and some reality from the fans as well. I think there’s been a good connection between us all. So three different kinds of managers with three different reasons to try and be successful I think.’

burnley Bloggers

Join The Vital Debate