Positivity a big plus for Clarets in Premier League dogfight

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All season long, the mood in the Burnley dressing room has remained constant - positive.

Regardless of runs of results, and position in the Premier League table, the players have sung from the same hymn book.

Staying positive: Sean Dyche

Staying positive: Sean Dyche

Ahead of the visit of Arsenal tomorrow, midfielder David Jones hailed boss Sean Dyche for his methods in maintaining the players’ mindset, saying: “It’s incredible. I’ve never been to a club where the positivity stays the same, regardless of win, lose or draw.

“Sometimes those things are out of your hands but the performance, the effort and the energy, the will and desire – they always have to be constant here.

The manager has always had that mentality and it’s always a positive place. I don’t think it ever changes.

“He’s just very clever. I just know that I end up coming out of a Monday meeting, win lose or draw, with a positive mentality. Ready to train, wanting to train and wanting to give my all, so whatever he does and says works.”

The days of just telling someone or accusing them have changed I think

Sean Dyche

And Dyche gave a little insight into those team meetings.

Asked what he did, he joked: “Erm, lying. i’ve improved at it!” But he explained: “It’s how you work with players. You can give people information in an appropriate manner.

“De-briefs have changed, if that’s what you choose to call it. When it first came around it was like picking fault and assasinating people, saying ‘what did you do that for?’

“But it’s changed a little bit now. We’re looking to learn, it’s more ‘what are your thoughts’. It’s a shared experience, looking to learn. It’s not me dominating it, they have trust in how I look at the game, they know I’m going to work with them to improve. There are things from when I was a player that have changed radically. The days of just telling someone or accusing them have changed I think.

“There’s a time and a place for that but it’s not on a Monday morning. After a game when it’s two days after it’s time to look at it, make sense of it and use it going forward. It’s not fluff and flannel.

“It’s about looking it in a positive manner. If Jonah sees it in that way it’s absolutely fine by me.”

Burnley face second place Arsenal tomorrow, the last of eight successive games against the current top eight, before the Clarets turn their thoughts to key battles against sides in and around them in the relegation scrap, including Leicester City, Hull and Aston Villa - on the final day.

And he said: “I think it’s a different kind of challenge. A lot has been made of the challenge we just had, Arsenal being the last one of a real tough run. Or that’s how people on the outside see it. Some said we wouldn’t get a point but we’ve got five. This run goes back to the United game, we’ve played the superpowers as I call them.

“We’ve delivered some good performances, come out with some points. Now it’s a different challenge - it’s the teams around us, mid-table teams. But the same rules apply. They are good sides. We know what a challenge it was to get here, now the challenge is to stay here. We want to be in, we’re striving for that, working very hard for it.

“Whoever we come across we’ll be ready and look to deliver performances. We keep it simple and when the challenge comes we are ready for it.”

Last week Dyche was hailed as a potential future England manager by Michael Duff, and his profile is constantly rising - asked to cut the ribbon on a shop in hometown Kettering, and he smiled: “I love Kettering, grew up there and still go up there.

“It’s the shifting sands of my career. The exposure you get from being a manager, they asked me down. Took my kids over. it’s good if a local boy has done alright for himself - I think I have. That’s that.

“The England thing - it’s a long way before I worry about that sort of thing. I’ve got a job to do here before I worry about anything else.

“I don’t think that many have said it. My dad might have done - but even he wasn’t sure!”