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Dyche’s focus is on the now, not history

Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche
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Sean Dyche will become the first man since the legendary Harry Potts to lead Burnley into European competition on Thursday night.

But typically, while he appreciates the historical relevance, he is only focused on the job at hand, and making sure Burnley are in a good position to progress come next week’s return leg at Turf Moor.

Potts led Burnley for 12 years from 1958 to 1970, in which time he won the First Division Championship, took the Clarets to their last FA Cup Final, and was in charge for the club’s only previous continental campaigns, in the European Champions’ Cup in 1960/61, and the Fairs Cup, the forerunner of the Europa League, in 1966/67.

Dyche is widely considered to be Burnley’s finest custodian since, and, come October, he will overtake Stan Ternent as the longest-serving manager at Turf Moor since Potts.

Asked what it will mean to him at Pittodrie on Thursday, he said: “It’s just another historic marker for me personally.

“We’ve had so many since I’ve been here with the different groups we’ve had, for the players, myself.

“This is another one. I don’t focus on these things now, these are the things you look back on in 20 years time and remember them for me.

“I’m aware that it’s an historic marker, but beyond that I just want to win. I’m not too gushy about that sort of stuff, I just want to win.”

Assistant boss Ian Woan was at Pittodrie to see Aberdeen take on West Brom on Friday night, and Dyche and his players will be prepared for what the Dons throw at them.

Derek McInnes has managed to split the Old Firm, finishing second behind Celtic, and Dyche said: “I know from our Scottish scouts the work done there, they’ve done very well - in my lifetime Rangers and Celtic are massive clubs and it’s not easy to get in between them.

“They’ve done a brilliant job in doing that, we won’t be taking them lightly, they’ve done some really good work there.

“They’re an organised side, they get the ball quickly, they back the play, their willing to work, they play off their shape well, they’re all things that our players have got to be ready for.”

It will be a rare occasion where Burnley are favourites to win, but Dyche isn’t interested in expectations, merely making sure his players fulfil their roles: “It’s rare but we have had that before, I think we’re more interested in just delivering a performance.”