Sean Dyche is looking at his journey with the Clarets with a sense of perspective.
The former Chesterfield and Millwall defender, who also had spells at Watford both in a playing and managerial capacity, continues to analyse the club’s forthcoming challenge with an air of pride and realism rather than dwelling on a relatively unproductive transfer window.
Since Martin Paterson and Charlie Austin launched Dyche’s tenure in victory over Wolves at Turf Moor in November 2012, the Clarets have climbed from 14th place in the Championship to 17th in the Premier League.
The Burnley boss worked against the odds and on limited resources to bring top tier football back to the town, and he believes fans should rejoice in such achievements as the club readies itself for a fight to preserve its status at this level.
After failing to add to defender Michael Keane’s signature prior to Monday’s 11 p.m. deadline, Dyche said: “I haven’t heard any fans be disheartened. If there are disheartened fans then that’s the way it goes.
“There’s thousands of people that go to watch Burnley home and away and I haven’t heard any disheartened fans. I’ve only heard fans cheering their club on and backing and supporting their club. I know for a fact that will remain.
“They understand the challenge of the Premier League and they understand that we’ve brought Premier League football to a town that may not have thought that it would get it again. I don’t think there’s disheartening.
“I think there’s realities of the club and the mantra that we use which is ‘onwards and upwards’. We’ve brought a great positivity to the town and the people have played a great part in that. I’m sure they’ll continue to do so.”
Dyche added: “Before the season we were written off, after 10 games we were certainly written off, but we currently sit 17th in arguably one of the hardest divisions in world football. I think the players are gaining great experience, they’re learning, developing and improving and I think the fans are aware of that.
“They know the challenges are great, they know the task is there every week to beat an opposition of world stars and I think they’re enjoying that challenge as are we. I believe in the group as I always have done, the fans believe in the group and the group believes in itself. That’s something that can get overlooked when these transfer windows come round.”
The deadline was met by despondency by a cluster of supporters, who took to social media to vent their angst after deals involving Stuart Armstrong, Graham Dorrans, Henri Lansbury and Matt Jarvis, among others, failed to materialise.
But Dyche declared that there was never a question mark over the backing from the club’s board, as had been suggested: “You only have to look in the Championship and realise that half of it is anything from £10m in the red up to £100m. Our club have made it clear that they don’t want to do that, but that does make it tough when player trading, particularly when buying players.
“Bournemouth are doing fantastically in the Championship but they made a £13.9m loss last year which shows how much wages and signings they’re making. They’ve allegedly just bid £5m for a teenager from Birmingham. It makes you realise how powerful some of these backers are at these clubs because we all know that Bournemouth as a club can’t afford to actually do that with only getting 10,000 people on.”
Meanwhile the Clarets takes on West Brom on Sunday with kick-off scheduled at noon at Turf Moor. “We don’t tell them it’s a ‘cup final’ but we make them aware that every game is important whether it be a pre-season game or a league game. At the moment every game is important but I don’t need to tell them that because the players already know.
“Our home games are important, not only because we want to give our fans what they want, but because we also want to win games. We enjoy playing at the Turf and we always have done. Generally we’ve delivered good performances and we’ll look to continue that. We look to get wins on the board, we look to get points on the board and we look to be productive.”
With trips to Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and Anfield penned in to the schedule in the near future, Dyche added: “They are all the challenges that everybody wanted. These are the clubs that we want to be playing against. There are some really tough games but they are fantastic games. The whole point of getting in to the Premier League is to look forward to those games and then work hard to win them. That’s what we’ll do.”