As he prepares for his 300th game in charge of Burnley, Sean Dyche admits a lot of the good work in over six years could be undone over the remainder of the season.
The Clarets have seven games to save their Premier League future, starting tomorrow at home to Wolves, as they look to increase their two-point advantage over Cardiff City in the last relegation spot.
Dyche is eager that his next big milestone as Clarets chief won’t be in the Championship, and he said: “300 games is a lot of games in management, and six and a half years.
“I wasn’t planning on 300 games when I came here because as we know football management is fraught with trouble. But I’m still going.”
But, asked if his legacy could be tarnished by relegation, he admitted: “Yes, that’s right. Seven bad games is bad news.”
A poor first half of the season badly hit Burnley, taking only 12 points from 19 games, but they went on to win 18 from the following eight, before losing the last four.
He is pleased with the response over the second half of the season, but it can’t end there.
Asked whether it was unrealistic to maintain the eight-game unbeaten run at this level, he said: “I don’t think it was unrealistic, but improbable.
“We were 23 unbeaten in the Championship to win the title.
“It’s improbable but not impossible that that kind of run happens in the Premier League when you’re us at Burnley.
“The bigger picture is when you add the four losses to the unbeaten run, it’s still 18 points.
“That is more or less a second half of the season return for a club like ours in the Premier League.
“The difference is our first half of the season.
“Every part of the season is the business end and the first part was tough for us - to have one point after five games.
“That is still a really important part of the season.
“But that is parked to one side and it’s all about now. The next games coming are part of a bigger picture but 18 points to now is a very healthy return.
“Within that, we have lost four on the trot and we have to address that.”
Burnley suffered a chastening defeat at Wolves earlier in the season, which only finished 1-0, but could have been far heavier.
But it wasn’t one of the lowest points of the season: “No, not really. There have been enough low points. They are not all games.
“We have had loads of different challenges. That is the nature of being a football manager.
“It’s not all about results and performances. You become resilient to them and remember all the good stuff that is going on.”