Burnley boss Sean Dyche: "Panicking is not the way to win football matches!"

This isn't the first time that Sean Dyche and Burnley have been written off. And it certainly won't be the last!

By Dan Black
Saturday, 5th December 2020, 12:35 am
Updated Saturday, 5th December 2020, 12:38 am
Burnley's English manager Sean Dyche is seen before kick off of the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on October 31, 2020.
Burnley's English manager Sean Dyche is seen before kick off of the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on October 31, 2020.

Despite being just nine games into the season, the Clarets' chances of Premier League survival are already being knocked.

Burnley are second from bottom in the top flight having lost six of their opening nine league fixtures for the first time in 39 years.

But they've been here before. They'd accrued 12 points at the halfway point in 2018/19 - as Everton rounded off that miserable run with a 5-1 win at Turf Moor - but went on to preserve their PL status.

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Watford assistant manager Sean Dyche shouts instructions during the 3rd round FA Cup Sponsored by E.ON match between Watford and Hartlepool United at Vicarage Road on January 8, 2011 in Watford, England.

"Some of the noise over the years has been pleasing in a sense that they're talking about you as not-so-much of an underdog," said Dyche.

"Some media streams and pundits suggest that we're now a recognised Premier League club. We've earned the right, but I don't think you can ever take it for granted.

"I’m not surprised by anything that is said about football anymore. Everyone has a view on everything. It just goes with the territory really. It’s part of life in the Premier League."

He added: "There’s always speculation around players, managers, boards, and it all changes quicker these days than it ever has.

Sean Dyche of Chesterfield receives the congratulations for his goal during the FA Cup Semi-Final against Middlesbrough at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. The game was drawn 3-3.

"You talk about today’s news being tomorrow’s chip paper, and that has probably never been truer than it is now.

"I’ve got no problem with it, I don’t think you’ve ever heard me question anyone who’s said things about us."

Dyche has experienced all the highs and lows of the game during his time as both player and manager.

He suffered a leg break early in his career at Nottingham Forest, experienced FA Cup heartache with Chesterfield and enjoyed promotions at Bristol City, Millwall and Northampton Town.

Dyche's first stint as manager was also an eye-opener. With his tenure at Watford in its infancy, he came under heavy pressure from a pocket of the Hornets fanbase.

However, after replacing Malky Mackay at Vicarage Road, he guided the club to an 11th place finish, their best in four years.

He said: "All the things as a manager allow you to deal with the highs and lows. I had a playing career as well that had a lot of those moments in - good and bad.

"There were promotions, injuries, getting booed off, getting cheered off. Then you move into a management career and at Watford after just 13 games some of the crowd had 'Dyche Out' t-shirts on, which wasn't the most pleasant day of my life!

"But it's safe to say that we turned that season around and ended up having a good season."

Dyche had to win a section of the crowd over when succeeding Eddie Howe. It's fair to say he silenced most of those critics.

The Burnley boss has won two promotions - one as champions - and guided the club to a first European campaign in half-a-century.

The longest-serving Premier League manager is now heading into his 200th game in charge in the division.

"Coming here was similar, the early part of my career was getting booed off a lot, there were a lot of question marks, but we came through that as a collective," he said.

"Then we got a lot of cheers, a lot of pats on the back and a lot of good news. You've just got to try and not be too affected by either; the good or the bad.

"These are all the things that go into the rich tapestry of learning as a manager and I still think I'm learning.

"I've spoken to some extremely experienced managers and they tell me that you never stop learning and picking up new things."

The Clarets have defied the odds time and time again under Dyche. They'll have to do it all again if they're to avoid the drop this term.

But there's no panic. There isn't a great deal of disparity between results from this season and last, when Burnley sealed a top 10 finish.

From games against Leicester (a), Southampton (h), Newcastle (a), Spurs (h), Chelsea (h), Brighton (a), Palace (h) and City (a), Dyche's side are just two points adrift from last season's return.

"We know where we're at," said Dyche. "Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago about panic measures, and trust me, panicking is not the way to win football matches.

"If you’re struggling of course you worry, but you never panic because I always think we can control certain aspects of what we do.

"And I have the knowledge to know why certain things are not going to plan, and what the challenges and the realities are."

Dyche added: "Panic is not a word I use easily. I’ve never been like that. My way of working is to analyse, to think things through.

"To work with facts rather than the perception of how things appear, and then to remodel and re-plan, and move forward.

"There’s no guarantees with that by the way, but it’s just my way of working, and it doesn’t involve any panic."