Dyche’s delight at players’ mentality

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Clarets boss Sean Dyche has hailed his players’ professionalism ahead of their first pre-season friendly tonight.

Burnley reported back for training last Wednesday, before departing for a training camp in Évian-les-Bains in France on Monday.

Tonight they are in action over the border in Switzerland, in Geneva, against Third Division side Etoile Carouge at the 7,200 capacity Stade de la Fontenette (kick-off 7 p.m. local time, 6 p.m. BST).

New signings Matt Lowton and Jelle Vossen are in line to make their debuts for the Clarets, who will return to England after the game, ahead of their next outing at Accrington Stanley a week tomorrow.

Dyche has been delighted with his players’ fitness levels on their return.

Two years ago, ahead of their promotion season, he spoke of Dean Marney setting the bar in pre-season, summing up the squad’s relentless nature.

And even though Marney is currently recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury, the example he set still reverberates.

Dyche said: “I think Deano laid a good marker down.

“There’s still a good hardcore of players from that pre-season two years ago.

“I think that rubbed off on a lot of people and shifted the mentality, not just because of that but it was an obvious marker; someone laying that down saying ‘I’m ready to go’.

“I think that helped with the mentality through that season, and it’s helped beyond that with the players now.

“The fitness tests we’ve done have shown that.

“Within all that the psychology of players who come back almost super-ready, it always rubs off on others, and we’re very fortunate here, we’ve got a mindset of that now.

“At that time Dean Marney was a real catalyst for it, now there’s a handful of players who come back really ready to go.

“I’m always happy with the players’ fitness here, we do a lot of work on that, as everyone knows.

“They’ve looked really good already so that allows us to accelerate the training going into the new season.”

Meanwhile, after bringing in Lowton and Vossen, quickly replacing Kieran Trippier and Danny Ings, Dyche is eager to add further quality and depth to his squad.

He had hoped to add two new faces before the trip to France, but had to settle for one, in Vossen, who linked up with his new teammates on Monday night, before putting pen to paper on Tuesday.

He has been linked with a host of players, as is the case at this time of year, and he doesn’t have a set number of targets he would like to land: “We want quality, we want people who can challenge, we want people who can take this club forward – back to where we want to be (in the Premier League).

“There’s not a given number.

“We want a competitive squad, I’ve said that many times. You always do.

“We are in a position where we can build a squad.

“We did that last year. There’s always manoeuvring around that each year – season on season – so we will be looking to do that.

“But there’s not an absolute number.”

Dyche would also like to keep the group together, amid continuing speculation linking Derby County with a move for Jason Shackell.

The Burnley captain has been in France with the squad, as expected, but the Rams have not given up their pursuit of their former skipper.

They had an offer, believed to total up to £2m, turned down last month, but are thought to be looking at a cash-plus player deal, with Republic of Ireland international centre back Richard Keogh potentially included as a makeweight.