Clarets out to diminish another hoodoo
Extinguishing hoodoos became habitual for the Clarets in the Championship last term.
On the way to promotion Sean Dyche’s side recorded a first victory over Rovers in 35 years, won at Portman Road against Ipswich Town for the first time in over 43 years, beat Leeds United at Elland Road for only the second time since 1974 and claimed a second triumph at Oakwell against Barnsley since 1932.
Harry Potts was in charge of the club when the Clarets last beat weekend opponents West Brom at The Hawthorns with Steve Kindon scoring the only goal of the game in December 1969.
Dyche, typically, isn’t concerned by those statistics as the Clarets bid for a first Premier League win of the season on Sunday. “You have to win games,” he said. “The stats are irrelevant. I’ve said many times we use stats to be analytical about performances but things that have happened in the past have no representation on the future.
“We seemed to get that about every single team we played last year. Let’s just say we don’t worry too much about what’s happened in the past. We look forward to what we’re going to do in the future.”
Summer signing Steven Reid spent four years in England’s top tier with the Baggies following an initial three-month loan spell, but there’s been plenty of change since the 33-year-old parted with his former employers.
Alan Irvine arrived as manager just before Reid’s departure, while 10 players have brought in to the club - including £10m Dynamo Kiev striker Ideye Brown - and a further six have exited.
“Reidy was there a number of years and knows quite a collection of the group,” Dyche said. “He doesn’t know everybody there, because they’ve brought in quite a lot of players in the summer, and it’s a different manager.
“Each manager works in a different format and a different way. He’ll give us some snippets but we can’t expect him to give us a full tactical insight because there’s been change.”
He added: “There’s no mistaking the fact that even in a transitional period they’ve spent a fair bit of money and they’ve got some good players. They’ve also got some experience there and players who have been at the club for a while.
“They’re a recognised group of Premier League players and it’s important that we understand that and we work against that in order for what we want to do. The players know about the challenges ahead of them and now it’s about building on the performances that we’ve delivered so far and finding that cutting edge in the final third.”
Dyche, who will be taking in Manchester United’s clash with West Ham at Old Trafford on Saturday, remains hopeful of having David Jones back in time for Sunday, while the remainder of those sidelined are being nursed back to full fitness.
“They’re going quite well,” he said. “Taylor has still got a niggly achilles that hasn’t settled as quickly as we’d hoped. Obviously we’ve brought reinforcements in for that area so while we want everyone fit at least we’ve got cover there and players that can operate in those areas.
“Ings is on his way back and is going along nicely. With Jonah we’ll have to wait and see on his fitness but that’s settled down quickly. We’re pleased with that. We’ve still got another couple of days to decide so we’ll see nearer the time. Vokes is making a really good recovery and that’s just a time issue. He’s going along very well with his injury.”
And on Chelsea loanee Nathaniel Chalobah, he added: “He’s still adapting. I want him to see what we’re about and how we operate. He’s doing that. He’ll be in the squad as he has been since he’s been here but it’s whether he gets the chance to operate on the pitch or on the bench. We’ll decide closer to the event.”