22 February 2022

Sean Dyche believes Burnley have ‘strong jaw’ in Premier League survival fight

22 February 2022

Sean Dyche hopes Burnley can continue to live up to the old adage that they have “a strong jaw” in their fight to retain their Premier League status.

The Clarets ignited their survival bid with their first win since October at Brighton on Saturday to climb off the foot of the table.

Next up is Tottenham at Turf Moor on Wednesday and back-to-back wins for the first time this season could lift them up to 18th.

Dyche said: “We’ve got that mentality, I think we’ve had it for a long time. Many moons ago, I think it was Ian Holloway who famously said we’ve got a strong jaw and I think he’s right.

“We’ve got a team mentality that’s served us well. I’ve been going on about it all season, it’s been difficult for me as manager to keep repeating myself.

“We’ve not been far away, the last five performances have shown that against very good opposition and we’ve got to build on that.”

The Clarets have lost only one of their last five games – 1-0 at home to Liverpool – and Dyche highlighted some of the reasons why.

“We weren’t just waiting for it, we were attempting to make it happen,” he said. “Wout (Weghorst) has come in and made a difference, Maxwel (Cornet) has come in and made a difference.

“Players are coming back to form. I thought Dwight McNeil was excellent (at Brighton), Aaron Lennon has been terrific for us lately and Jack Cork had his best game of the season on Saturday.

“These are people who are laying down markers. Nathan Collins has come in and played well. Erik Pieters, a shining example of professionalism lately.

“There’s always been strong markers there, but the facts are the facts, we were bottom of the league. Now we’ve stepped up one, we’ve got to keep that mentality, got to strive for more.”

Dyche has spoken glowingly of Weghorst since his deadline-day arrival from Wolfsburg for £12million, but is also wary of the striker his players will face at Turf Moor, Harry Kane, whose two goals helped sink Manchester City on Sunday.

“It’s a funny one,” Dyche added. “He’s in form all of a sudden because before that people were questioning him.

“I wasn’t questioning him. I think he’s a top-class player. I’ve said it every season we’ve been in the Premier League.

“He’s one of the finest centre-forwards I’ve probably seen all-round. He’s a top player, simple as that.

“But my players are playing against top players all the time, it’s not just Harry Kane, not just Tottenham.

“There’s top players all across the Premier League and my players have to deal with it.”

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