20 July 2024

HOT VIEW;Burnley boss  is planning another Burnley escape at the movement.

Sean Dyche is holding court in his press conference. The subjects are varied as he regales the assembled journalists about the night he saw Prince at the O2, the impeccable casting of Peaky Blinders and how the book of the Da Vinci Code is better than the film.

 

There are even jokes about his hair colour – brown, he insists, not ginger. The mood is relaxed, no hint of Burnley’s precarious position in the Premier League table. They remain in the relegation zone despite the thrilling 3-2 win over Everton on Wednesday.

Not dead yet” – expletive removed – was the verdict of goalkeeper Nick Pope when caught yelling out in victory. But speaking to his manager in a side room at the club’s training ground in Padiham, there is a sense that even defeat would not have derailed Dyche.

There are certain games that seem more important, that you might have a better chance in,” he tells Sky Sports. “Guess what? They don’t just give you a result. You have to play and play hard to find the big moments to win those games – like we did against Everton.”

 

Dyche made three changes to his team for that game, bringing in Nathan Collins, Hay Rodriguez and Maxwell Cornet. All three scored. He brought on Matt Lowton, who curtailed Richarlison’s influence, and Matej Vydra, who provided the assist for the winning goal.

I don’t try to gloat in those moments,” says Dyche.

 

 

 

“I certainly didn’t put those players in thinking they would all definitely score. That is not how this works. If you do that you are a better manager than me, that is for sure.

They were close decisions but you go on feel, you go on what your staff are feeling as well, and you piece it together the best you can. The point is that I believed in the team that I put out there and I believed it could win.”

 

In truth, it is consistency rather than change that is Dyche’s hallmark – even down to his clothing. He gently chides those around him – this reporter included – for wearing jackets in what is a fairly chilly media room. He is sporting a t-shirt, of course.

 

When the team had two points from their first seven games last season, one new staff member was half expecting there to be some panic at Burnley, a sense of doubt. Instead, there was calm – and that calm undoubtedly came from the man at the top.

 

Dyche’s team came through that test to stay up, 11 points clear of the relegation zone in the end. It will be tighter this time but the plan remains the same. There will be no mixed messages, no blaming each other. His Burnley will just keep going.

 

“Win, lose or draw, I believe in consistency,” says Dyche.

 

“I believe in consistency of how we work as a staff in terms of training plans and methods. I very rarely change that plan and if I do it will be because of something out of my hands.

 

“When I was a player, I was fortunate because I played all around. Although I did not play in the Premier League, I played in all the other divisions and I had four promotions and I learned a lot from those four promotions.

 

“My feeling about those times, and it probably was not as crystal clear as I remember it, is that there was a consistency of players and a consistency from the coaches in terms of how they dealt with things and how they offered their information.

 

“I thought, that has to be a good thing. It just keeps everyone on a level thought. And myself, of course. I have never been one to have a bad result and blame the players on a Monday morning. That is not for me. I try to treat them equally.

 

“If we have a big result, I don’t run around with them. I treat them the same, with respect and honesty. It is partly me being me and partly my learning.”

Perhaps it is in his nature, but Dyche also spends the afternoon discussing his experiences at Leaders in Sport, an event where coaches and administrators from various sports share their leadership experiences. Dyche was impressed by England rugby union coach Eddie Jones.

 

An example of his own leadership techniques can be seen in his handling of Dwight McNeil’s recent dip in form. The wide midfielder is perhaps the club’s highest valued asset, but he was singled out for criticism in the media following defeat to Manchester City.

 

Dyche substituted him at half-time in that game and benched him for the win over Everton. There had been a difficult conversation beforehand but he hopes it will prove productive.

 

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