Burnley boss Sean Dyche's pride in his players after another season of progress

Sean Dyche has spoken of his pride in his players after another season of progress.
Sean Dyche and his staffSean Dyche and his staff
Sean Dyche and his staff

Burnley ended a strange season in 10th place - their second top-10 finish in three seasons - as they equalled their highest Premier League points tally of 54.

The Clarets also won more Premier League games (15) and earned more clean sheets (also 15) than in their previous five campaigns.

It all adds up to a fifth-successive season at this level.

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The club finished 15th last term, but their form over the second half of the season would have seen them placed ninth, recovering from a tough start which saw them 18th on Boxing Day at halfway.

Throw in the previous season, when the club earned their best top-flight finish since 1974, as they ended up seventh, qualifying for Europe for the first time since 1967, and Burnley continue to flourish at this level.

Dyche knows that doesn't make them safe and established - you only have to look at Watford, who were 11th last season and FA Cup Finalists, only to be relegated this term, or Stoke City who achieved three-successive ninth-place finishes before going down in 2018.

Burnley ended the season with only a second defeat in 16 league games, and a first at home in eight, despite being without injured captain Ben Mee, Ashley Barnes, Jack Cork, Matt Lowton and Charlie Taylor, having lost Jeff Hendrick at the end of his contract, with Joe Hart and Adam Legzdins also leaving the club.

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The players also had to contend with speculation surrounding Dyche's future, and the manager said: “We do (make progress), and I couldn’t tell you how pleased and proud I am of the players, because they keep delivering every time we’re questioned.

"They come out of it and deliver again.

“Lots of question marks on and off the pitch, for many reasons, not just football, all of what’s been going on, and they’ve come through that, they’ve seen through that.

“They continually galvanise as a group and believe in what what we do, so I couldn’t be more pleased.

“The restart thinking is because you can’t take this division for granted, and we don’t.

"So I just told the players, get a good rest, and we will have to come back and be ready, because the last one doesn’t owe you the next one, that’s always been my thinking."