Sean Dyche insists Burnley’s travel problems won’t impact them in tonight’s Europa League clash.
The Clarets’ flight up north yesterday was delayed three hours, meaning the club had to cancel their pre-match press conference at Pittodrie - for which they could face a UEFA sanction.
Dyche and his players visited the ground this morning ahead of the game, and the boss explained yesterday’s delay.
Asked whether it had been a tricky day, he said: “Not at all, it happens, we’ve all been delayed at airports, and even when you get a private flight, sometimes there are technical problems, so that’s all that was.
“It wasn’t a big drama.
“It’s standard stuff, we’ve all been to airports, it beggars belief that somebody has never had a delay at an airport.
“The lads all live in south west Manchester anyway so they just popped home for a couple of hours, we got on the flight and got up here last night in plenty of time to have a bit of food.
“We were allowed in last night but we chose not to, if it was a much longer journey we might have considered that.
“Because it’s relatively short we just decided to give them a look at it, most of our players haven’t been up here, I haven’t been up here, I know about Aberdeen and the history but I’ve never been up here.
“It was just to familiarise ourselves with it, when they get here tonight they know what they’re looking at, the size of the pitch is different, they can’t get it as big as it should be physically, it’s a chance to look around the changing rooms, get a feel of it, so tonight it’s something they’ve seen and they know about.”
While they know what lies in wait in terms of the venue, they also know their opponents should provide a stern test, having finished runners-up to Celtic in the SPL last season.
Dyche said: “They’ve proved over the last four or five seasons, they’re mixing it with Celtic, who are a super power of Scottish football, and Rangers are coming back, and Aberdeen are sandwiched in there and have done a great job.
“We don’t take teams lightly, we never have done, we know what we’re are, there is a reality to us but I don’t think we’re the real deal, I never have done.
“We’ve constantly got to work at what we do and look for the tiny gains you get season after season, you’re awareness and development and the maturity of the team.”
While it is still technically pre-season, Dyche and his players will be ready: “It’s a surreal thing that the season isn’t quite upon us and we’re going into our first real game, but that’s good for us, it sharpens the mind and the body.
“We’ve made sure the players have got minutes in their legs, most of the players have at least two and a half games, which, at this stage, would only normally be up to 75 minutes to 90 minutes, so that’s been the biggest change,
“We brought the date we started forward a bit, not too much, five or six days, because it was still important the players got a rest.
“We think we’ve found a good balance, the players are looking fit and well and the tests on them show that.
“They’re in good shape. There’s still more to come, game sharpness and that real football fitness, but we’re happy with the way they are.”
Dyche will become only the second manager to lead Burnley into European competition, after the legendary Harry Potts, but while aware of the historical significance, he is only focused on the present: “I always have the view that I’ll reflect on these things in the future, the present is relevant, it’s right in front of your face.
“I don’t really hark on about the first promotion we had, I know it’s there forever, an historic season, but I don’t sit and chat about it now.
“We just want to get on with the here and now, and take on the competition and see where it takes us.
“I didn’t play it down, I try and call it as it is, we knew it would be really tough to finish where we did in the Premier League, I was only saying it would be tough to take that all the way to the end of the season, and now we’re here.
“It’s just another chapter of what we’ve achieved and want to achieve.
“There was a reality to my words, the Premier League is a very unforgiving league and we managed to finish in a position that got us here