Clarets boss Sean Dyche is refusing to change his stance on the Sunderland managerial saga after Black Cats head coach Dick Advocaat stepped down at the Stadium of Light.
The Dutchman vacated the post on Sunday after the Mackems, still in search of their first Premier League win of the campaign, surrendered a two-goal lead against West Ham on home soil.
I’m here, I want to win games, I’m getting on with itSean Dyche
Former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has emerged as an early favourite to take on the vacancy though bookmakers have slashed Dyche’s odds to as short as 3/1.
Sunderland football chiefs have reportedly urged the club to go back to British in their search for Advocaat’s successor and the two early front-runners certainly fit that mould - as does one-time Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson.
“It’s a paper story,” said Dyche. “That’s all I know, my focus is still here, that’s all I can do.
“It’s nothing to do with me. I know nothing of it. It’s a story from another paper.
“Somehow I’m engaged in that. I’m not. I’m here, I want to win games, I’m getting on with it.”
Dyche added: “I shouldn’t have to answer to it really but if you want me to I’m happy getting on with what we’re doing.
“We’re trying to win games and we’ll try to win as many games as we can.”
It’s not the first time that Dyche has been linked with a move to Wearside. The Turf Moor chief was a target in the close season following Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League.
On that occasion Advocaat made a surprising U-turn on his position, having returned home to Holland in the summer after guiding the Black Cats to safety in the top tier.
But it seems the 68-year-old’s decision is set in stone this time. “I want to thank everyone who has stood behind me.
“This is a very special football club, with so many great people, but I feel it is the right time to do this - not for me, but for the club.
“I have made the decision to go after only eight games as I felt it was important to give everyone time turn things around - like we did last year. I am thankful to the chairman for understanding my feelings and I remain on good terms with everyone at the club.”
Sunderland are second from bottom in the top flight having taken just three points from their opening eight league fixtures.
Meanwhile, Dyche has praised his strike force after Andre Gray and Sam Vokes added to their goal tallies in the 2-1 triumph over Rotherham United at the New York Stadium on Friday evening.
The club’s £6m record signing opened the scoring in the ninth minute against the Millers when capitalising on Richie Smallwood’s inadvertent assist while Welsh international Vokes fired in the winner in the 81st minute after Grant Ward had levelled for the hosts.
The pair now have seven goals between them this season with former Brentford striker Gray netting twice for the Bees ahead of his switch to Turf Moor.
“You want your strikers scoring goals and they want to be scoring goals, so to get both scoring was terrific.
“Andre’s goal was excellent, the predatory instinct of a striker was on show, he’s so quick onto the chance - Boydy nicked it over the top with a good foot, but to react that quick, and a lovely calm finish was top class.
“Vokesy was alive as well, so two good goals in different ways.”