Summer signing Steven Reid isn’t surprised at the impact Burnley boss Sean Dyche has had since his arrival at Turf Moor.
The 33-year-old, who played alongside Dyche at Millwall, believes his former Lions’ team-mate has enveloped all the traits and attributes from his playing days and delivered them in to the embryonic stages of his managerial tenure.
The Republic of Ireland international was dismissed the first time he featured with Dyche in Mark McGhee’s first game in charge in a 5-0 loss to Ipswich Town in the League Cup in September 2000.
But the pair went on to help the South Bermondsey club to the Football League Second Division title that very season with 93 points – a club record tally.
“He’s a similar character,” said Reid. “He’s obviously got that ingrained in him throughout his career.
You get what you see, his character is what I remember as a player, getting on to the younger lads as I was then and I think he’s brought that into management as well.
He leads by example, everyone has bought into what he does as a manager and you can see that with the results.
“From the moment he came in at Millwall you knew that he was going to go on and have a future in coaching and management. He was very unfortunate to lose his job at Watford when he did, he did a fantastic job there and rightly got back into football with the opportunity at Burnley.
“I’m sure he surprised a lot of people outside the club but I’m sure there’s no one who has met him and worked with him that was surprised with the job he’s done, the way he goes about his business and gets that group togetherness. Certainly for the first couple of months I’ve been involved it’s not surprise to me what they did last season.”
And Reid admits that Dyche helped shape his career: “Part of that is how I was brought up, thrown in because the club had financial issues at Millwall then. A few of us younger lads got chances then so it was important to have the gaffer – I can’t call him anything else now or I might get in trouble.
“There was a few really good senior pros at that time and that was a massive learning curve for my character growing up and it’s something that stayed with me throughout my career, that’s for sure.
“He helped us because at that time we were successful and the younger lads were getting a lot of plaudits. The older lads probably weren’t getting as many. We were getting linked with moves away and he made sure we all kept our feet on the ground and he’s obviously got that now as a manager with a number of players getting a few headlines over the last few months.
“What I’ve seen is lads keeping their feet on the ground, a few of them signing new deals and just enjoying their football. That’s an important part of being a young player, keeping your feet on the ground when you’re doing well. It’s important now that we try and keep that momentum going this season.”
Reid added: “It did a little bit but it’s quickly pulled up in meetings and such like if you call him anything else. As soon as I signed for him as a player that side of it has to go out the window a little bit. He’s now the gaffer and you’ve got to work in that player-manager relationship, the friendship has to go on the back-burner, you’re here to get results.
“If I’m not performing in training or games that relationship is not going to be there, you have to work for him as a player. I have to demand out of myself and out of the other players if I can and hopefully be that senior influence in the dressing room. The relationship with me and the manager that can take a back-seat, it’s all about getting the right results for the club now.”