Sean Dyche: Best form of defence is attack

Burnley's Manager Sean Dyche shouts instructions to his team''Photographer Dave Howarth/CameraSport''Football
Burnley's Manager Sean Dyche shouts instructions to his team''Photographer Dave Howarth/CameraSport''Football
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Sean Dyche insists if his team are to be relegated, they will go down fighting with two strikers.

The Clarets boss has gone into every game this season with a brave approach, bar at Arsenal, where, despite deploying Marvin Sordell and Danny Ings, his side played from a more defensive framework and were less expansive.

Recently, there has been debate among Burnley fans as to whether it would be more prudent to employ a more pragmatic approach and fill midfield, or go to a back three, and, similarly, Manuel Pellegrini, boss of tomorrow’s opponents Manchester City, has come in for criticism for preferring a 4-4-2 formation in the big games.

When City have played that system against Liverpool, Barcelona and CSKA Moscow, they have come unstuck, while also flattering to deceive in Champions League draws with CSKA and Roma.

Dyche, while not a zealot to the system, is a staunch advocate of it, or a slight variation on that theme.

Manchester United supporters have chanted for Louis Van Gaal to switch to 4-4-2 on occasion this season, not won over by his preference for a back three, but sections of the City and Burnley fans wouldn’t follow similar lines it seems.

Dyche, however, feels it best suits his group of players, and insists such a brave approach would leave no regrets, no “what ifs” should the worst come to the worst and Burnley are relegated.

He said: “The game has been going for 130-odd years. No manager has re-invented the wheel. It’s just making the best wheel he can.

“Whatever shape you play I believe has to fit the players.

“The one thing we have to have is a threat. My idea of being in the Premier League was not to get to the end come what may and then go ‘oh we didn’t really have a go’. My idea was to have a go.

“Not in a stupid way. We have to be organised and still have a sound base to work from, but to attack and have a chance of winning every single game.

“Once we went kind of sub-servient on the game plan at Arsenal and it didn’t suit us at all.

“Every other game, more or less with the odd hiccup here and there, we have been in it. That was my reasoning.”

And he ponders why more teams don’t employ two strikers: “Usually your front players are at the more talented end of your group. If you have got two good players up front then you would use them, I think.

“I’m surprised there aren’t more teams utilising two up front.

“I personally think you need a threat going forwards. The best form of defending is attacking.

“I believed in it last year, I believe in it this year, although obviously there can’t be a naivety to how the team operates or you get hurt going the other way.”