Sean Dyche impressed by strength of Burnley’s recent displays
Sean Dyche had many reasons to be happy after his side recorded their first back-to-back wins in 13 months but insisted the main one was the strength of recent performances.
Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Tottenham left Antonio Conte questioning whether he was the right man to fix Spurs’ problems but it was all smiles for the Clarets, who moved to within two points of safety after following up Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Brighton with only their third Premier League win of the season.
It was a victory which reignited belief amongst Burnley fans that they can beat the relegation odds once again this season, but Dyche is sticking to his mantra of not overreacting to either the highs nor the lows of the campaign.
“Obviously it feels good,” he said of the last two results. “I think the reason it feels good is they were good performances. We haven’t lucked out. In the last six games we’ve played very well.
“In the first half against Man United (a 1-1 draw on February 8) they were better than us but in the second half we were very strong, and I think that’s the only half where we have come away from our performance levels. I’ve been pleased with that side of things.
“We have earned the right to back-to-back wins. I would have taken two lucky ones but it’s more enjoyable when you’ve earned it through performances.”
But while the mood has improved considerably on fans’ message boards and call-in shows, Dyche said little had changed for him.
“We all know three points can change the whole look of a season but they don’t factually change it,” he added. “They can change the rhetoric and it goes from ‘Oh no’ to ‘Oh yes’, I’ve got people sending me texts and it’s better now than what they said five weeks ago.
“It gets back to that underdog mentality of Burnley again having that knack of coming out of it. But that’s not what they were saying six weeks ago. It’s about seeing through all the noise. That’s what I want to do and what I want my players to do.
“The season’s not done because you might get out of the bottom three (now)…it’s done when the final whistle has gone on the last day. That’s when it’s important not to be in the bottom three.”
Conte’s post-match interviews stole the headlines from Burnley on Wednesday night as the Italian indicated he and the club needed to assess whether any progress has been made since his arrival in November, adding, “Maybe I’m not so good”.
“I can’t speak for other managers,” Dyche said of Conte’s comments. “I don’t know the situation in there. He’s a very experienced manager, he’s won many things and worked with top players in Europe and the world. He’ll have a feeling why his words are what they are.
“In my experience it’s a tough job. The only thing I would say is weirdly it’s quite levelling when you see managers of his level still finding the job tough. You forget it’s still a tough job even for the most experienced managers.”
Burnley, who could climb out of the bottom three with victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday if other results go their way, played with a freedom both at Brighton and against Tottenham which defied their troubled league position.
And Dyche remains steadfast in his belief they can get themselves out of trouble.
“I’ve never not been sure,” he said. “I’ve never really overthought. I’ve always believed in what the players are doing. I’ve always believed in the power of a group of people when they’re pulling in the right direction, which they are.
“And I’ve always believed in working to get things right.”
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