Burnley boss Sean Dyche opens up on the emotive side of football: "I've felt lots of anxiety towards it and it's not an enjoyable experience when you're getting booed off all the time."

Sean Dyche has learned how to keep his emotions in check after years of sampling the highs and lows of football.

The Burnley boss has experienced it all since breaking his leg at the age of 17 in an FA Youth Cup tie for Forest at The Hawthorns.

He was promoted with Chesterfield via the Third Division play-offs in 1995 after beating Bury in the final and would later be involved in a real humdinger for the Spireites in a heart-breaking FA Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of Boro.

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Dyche was part of the Bristol City squad that finished runners-up to Watford in the old Second Division in 1998 and went on to win his first title with Millwall three years later as the Lions moved into the second tier.

BRENTFORD, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley acknowledges the fans after the Premier League match between Brentford and Burnley at Brentford Community Stadium on March 12, 2022 in Brentford, England.

The ex-defender then capped a career, which spanned nearly 500 games across the board, by playing 38 times for Northampton Town as they finished behind Carlisle United in League Two in 2006.

A potentially career-ending injury as a teenager, a famous cup run that matched 'David and Goliath', four promotions and an upbringing alongside some larger than life characters at the City Ground have all contributed to Dyche's persona on the sidelines.

"It's to do with your career," he said. "I had a sort of 'journeyman' career, but had many experiences within it, four promotions, broken leg at 17, I did my back three times, numerous injury spells, moved clubs, hero to zero, zero to hero, I got booed off, cheered off, carried off, all the things that happen in a career. The thing that it has taught me is the balance of what it is.

"You can't really define what goes on in life, some of it is subliminal learning. You don't write things down on a piece of paper, some of it is just ingrained in you because of your life story and everyone has one.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 08: Sean Dyche, Manager of Burnley gestures during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on February 08, 2022 in Burnley, England.

"It moulds you into where you are and it moulds you into what you are, then you add your own personality or characteristic and mould them together. That's how you become who you are, certainly in your professional life.

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"Yes, there are times when I reflect now, but I didn't know it then. I didn't sit there as a 17-year-old at Forest saying 'there's Des Walker, there's Nigel Clough and there's Stuart Pearce, oh wow', you don't do that, but you look back at them moments, you look back at the respect, the hierarchy, the professionalism, the demand, the smiles, the social time, the openness of playing groups."

The 50-year-old, however, is far from robotic. While he masks his feelings well — win, lose or draw — what you see on the outside doesn't necessarily reflect the innervation on the inside.

Two promotions as a manager, a relegation, fights for survival, European nights, derbies, and games in front of tens of thousands of fans at some of the most iconic stadiums while taking on some of the best teams in world football. Each moment has evoked a different internal response, but they've all been handled in stoic fashion.

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Burnley manager Sean Dyche before the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Burnley at Selhurst Park on February 26, 2022 in London, England.
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The ability to separate his head from his heart in such an emotionally-charged, mentally-draining and high-octane hands-on occupation is now second nature to Dyche, who exudes a confidence befitting of his own successes and qualifications, as well as those around him.

With Burnley's top flight status on the line once again, the pressure will be felt by the Premier League's longest-serving boss. However, he'll back himself, his staff and his players all the way, even in the most perilous of positions.

Speaking to the Burnley Express about a lifetime in the game, he said: "I've felt lots of anxiety towards it and it's not an enjoyable experience when you're getting booed off all the time. I've had that as a player, I've had that as a manager. That's not an enjoyable experience.

"When players and managers say it doesn't bother them, it does bother you, of course it bothers you! You wouldn't be human if it didn't bother you, but you've got to remind yourself that you know what you're doing and that's why you're in the profession that you're in.

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"I apply common sense to most of my life and I'm in the position that I'm in because I know what I'm doing. It's a fact, it's not an opinion. Therefore, when people try to expose things you're not doing, you say 'okay, fine'.

"It's not a problem to me because I'm there for a reason. Whether you're a player, coach or manager, you're put in that place for a reason. During those times when it gets tough I always remind myself of that, it's why I'm there, because I've got the skillset to do the job. I remain focussed on that, rather than the noise around it."

For Dyche, nothing is ever conclusive until any given situation becomes a physical or mathematical impossibility. That is merely a reflection of his personality as a manager and the mantra that he follows: "I don't get too high with the highs or too low key with the lows."

It's a balance that has brought him to where he is today, both in a personal and professional capacity. Dyche concluded: "I do enjoy things — I think people sometimes misconstrue it — I've just always thought that the game's not over until it's over, that's the reason why I'm so calm on the sidelines.

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"At the end of the game, when you get big results, or any result, there's an inner satisfaction when I really enjoy it, trust me! It's just my manner to not go shouting and screaming about it.

"I don't do it when we lose, either. I can't remember coming in and lambasting the team for this, that or the other. I think it's more important that I process it, think about it, rather than get too involved in it.

"In my private life I enjoy many things, and openly do so, and in my professional life I still enjoy it, but it's more of an inner enjoyment. The next one is just around the corner usually, so you don't want to get too involved in enjoying that one.

"It's more a reflection of things you've learned. It works on and off the pitch for me in my own life and my professional life, it's always rubbed off in some way, in all my life. All those experiences have been just as important away from football and have moulded me into who I am today."