Sean Dyche is committed to keeping the nucleus of his squad together to try and bounce back to the Premier League.
Burnley’s relegation was sealed on Saturday, despite a 1-0 win at Hull City.
But while Dyche accepts he will lose 10-goal top-scorer Danny Ings – seemingly Liverpool-bound with his contract at Turf Moor due to run out in the summer – he aims to hold onto the rest of his key personnel.
The likes of Kieran Trippier and Tom Heaton have attracted praise and speculation, but have two years remaining on their deals, while skipper Jason Shackell, another pivotal performer, is tied up until the end of the 2015/16 season.
And Dyche said: “There are lots of players here under good contracts length-wise, so we hope the group stays together pretty much.
“There will be some demands within that. Ings is the most spoken about.
“I think there will be predators. People will think they have got a group who were written off and came very close, how have they done that?
“They’ll think they’re decent players, probably players who weren’t recognised and are now more recognised.”
But Dyche feels he and his players will come back better for their Premier League experience: “It is the big challenges in life that you learn from, and that is what myself the staff, the players, the board will and the fans will.
“But there will be a strong thirst – I know that – to be back in there.
“There certainly is from me and I know that of my staff and my players.
“But it is very tough, it’s not an easy task.
“The Championship is a very competitive division – we have seen that this season.
“There are no guarantees. Even when you put money into clubs, there are no guarantees.”
And he believes it is possible to aspire to get back in the top flight – and stay there: “I don’t think it’s too hard, I think we have been a good advert for how close it can be.
“We have been right in every game and a few decisions have gone against us which we can’t control, and a few moments of truth have gone against us – penalties, a slip here, a chance the keeper saves. So it can be done.
“Like any walk of life, we all get knocks. Most people are the same, the good times look after themselves, it’s when things happen that are big challenges in life, they’re the things you learn from.
“I do, my staff do, my players do, the club do and will as well, the board will.”
And he spoke again of his understanding of a need to work in the club’s best interests financially: “It’s not that there wasn’t money there but this market has moved forward.
“Last summer this market took a big shift forward, and when that happens you are not looking at nicking a player for one, two or three million like three or four years ago.
“Now your starting point is seven, eight, nine and that is for Championship players.
“That is not for recognised Premier League players.
“How many of those can you bring in? Well if you are Burnley you can probably bring in one, that is your budget done.
“Clubs that gamble are often backed by unbelievably wealthy people and can write off astronomical amounts of money.
“Our board are just not that way inclined, not because they don’t want to be.
“They have personal wealth but not like throwing 10 and 15 millions at clubs every season.
“The club has been here for 130-odd years, one of the founder members, and has to be here for many years to come. The club is certainly in good shape.”