George Boyd’s Burnley switch was sealed after Sean Dyche’s Barnfield sales pitch

George Boyd didn’t get to fully enjoy the luxury surroundings of Burnley’s £10.6m Barnfield Training Centre.
George Boyd beats Kevin De BruyneGeorge Boyd beats Kevin De Bruyne
George Boyd beats Kevin De Bruyne

But Sean Dyche’s vision of the transformation at Gawthorpe was one of the key selling points when landing the player in 2014, for what was then a joint-club record £3m.

Boyd returns to Turf Moor for the first time tomorrow with Peterborough United for the Emirates FA Cup third round, having left in the summer of 2017 at the end of his contract.

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The club moved into the new training complex in the spring of 2017, shortly before Boyd opted to take up an offer from Sheffield Wednesday.

And Dyche is looking forward to seeing a good servant, who helped win the Championship title in 2016: “He was the first player who I stood on the bridge with and said 'see those fields over there’ - it was marshlands back then - ‘that is going to be a proper training ground there, and it's all going to be pitches.’

“He was the only one who really got that pitch.

“It took a bit of time, and he was the only one at the end who said 'Gaffer, you called it, and it's here.'

“We used to joke, ‘Boydie, we did it, we did it!’

“It all changed radically in that three-year width when he was here.”

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Dyche added: “I spoke to him recently when he popped in to have some treatment here, because he lives close by.

“Brilliant lad who did fantastically well for us.

“An excellent piece of business and I think he was our record signing then.

“He had three great seasons for us, and has gone on to do pretty well with a few ups and downs since.”

Meanwhile, Dyche is expected to make around nine changes against the Posh, with Nick Pope and Ben Gibson not risked.

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And he admits, Burnley aren’t in a position to rotate their squad to that degree in every round and expect to finally win the trophy, after a 106-year wait.

He said: “Football is miles away from where we are here.

“The financial structures of the club won't get to the point where we can win every round.

“You have to play your best team all the time and hope the wind blows the right way.

“You can never say never down the whole future of the club, because years ago people could not envisage Burnley being in the position it is now in.

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“My view it is incredibly unlikely in the next five years to have a change side win the cup.

“The love of cup competitions, the love of football and trying to succeed for the club and as a player never goes out of you, but it is balanced with the factual reality of the situation.

“The Premier League is so powerful now, so far removed for a club like Burnley and many others it just becomes a reality.

“The only club where that might not be the case is Wigan.

“They won the cup and then went down. Wigan fans tell me they would still take it.

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“I wonder when that might wear off because they might never get there (Premier League) again.

“Ideally you would want to win it and stay up, but it's tough.”

Burnley have not got as far as the quarter-final since 2003, and Dyche has been in the end of a number of upsets in the domestic cups in his time in charge, notably then-National League Lincoln City, three years ago.

Those defeats hurt, but Dyche has been able to brush them off to focus on the league: “I don't think they hurt less, they just get parked quicker if it happens, and it has happened to us.

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“There is no crying for me. It's gone, bang. Off it goes and the next one is the most important one.

“Any game that doesn't go your way gives a horrible feeling. You balance it out better as you mature as a manager.

“They need to be parked quickly because the next one is coming because the next one is a big one. We've got a tough game on Saturday but we've got tough games in the next three or four against top teams in the Premier League.

“I expect to win whoever I put there. We don't just pick a team and hope for the best. There is no lack of seriousness of the preparation and performance. The reality is that as a manager I would take winning the FA Cup, but the business head on me says it is more important to stay in the Premier League.”