"I can't praise the fans enough" - Sean Dyche on the Burnley supporters' important role in the Clarets' reversal in fortunes

While the performances of the players over the last six games has given Burnley impetus in their battle for Premier League survival, Sean Dyche feels the supporters have been equally important.
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Wins have been hard to come by this season, with successive victories over Brighton and Spurs tripling their haul.

But the fans have remained patient, and they have got their rewards over this week.

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As captain Ben Mee remarked on Twitter after his goal saw off Tottenham:" Buzzing. What a feeling. Back to back wins. Massive. Turf Moor bouncing again and the lads reacted to that."

The supporters celebrate beating Spurs on Wednesday nightThe supporters celebrate beating Spurs on Wednesday night
The supporters celebrate beating Spurs on Wednesday night

The crowd have stood four-square behind their side, notably at half-time against Manchester United when Burnley were a goal down and United had two further strikes ruled out.

They roared their team off, and back on, and Dyche's side ground out a point.

Against Spurs, they again responded at the moments when the team needed them, lifting the players when Spurs had any pressure.

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It hasn't gone unnoticed, with Dyche praising the support on a regular basis, and, ahead of Saturday's trip to Crystal Palace, he admitted: "I can't praise the fans enough.

"It's authentic, it's not easy when the team's not doing as well as you'd like as a supporter, but I think they do stand by performances - they can see sweat on the shirt, a will, demand and work ethic.

"They want to see good play as well, goals and wins, that's quite obvious, but I think there's an honest and authenticity to the crowd here, as long as they see everyone really working for the shirt and the badge, they'l give them a lot more leeway and go with them, and I think that's been on show.

"I don't think we've lacked a work ethic over the season - we've had some soft performances, but Man U is a bit different, we were a bit off, but they are a strong outfit and I think the crowd went 'okay, we can balance that a little bit', and they stayed strong and connected, and that is such a powerful thing, it really is.

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"I think it's really difficult for modern supporters, the amount of outside noise in the media, noise that comes with modern supporters' lives, this thirst and need for change, or quick change, and that's why I think they've been terrific.

"They see through all that and look at the team and think 'they're giving us their lot', and I think that's a good start point.

"You need more than that of course, you've got to play well and win games, but it's a good start and there's an authenticity to the team and the crowd.

"They have stayed strong for the team for a long, long time now, in some really challenging periods, and I take great value from that."

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Wednesday night was only a second home win in 21 games, but the fans have remained patient with a team and manager who have given them so much over the last decade: "A friend of mine, Lee Glover, who was with me at Nottingham Forest, he was in the crowd at Arsenal and he said 'you know what, I didn't hear one negative'.

"Everyone was right behind the team, the team working hard, and it was them accepting this was a group giving their lot.

"He was one of the youngest-ever players at Forest, very talented player, one of the best I saw as a young player, and I think he's got a fair view of football and has been in a lot of crowds over the years, and he marvelled at it.

"He said 'you don't get that nowadays, fans used to be like that across the board, but now, instant reaction, but your fans were unbelievable, they just stood by the team all the way through the game.'

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"I just think, maybe the team has earned the right over the years, I don't know, but the fans here are absolutely aligned with what the team give them, and I think that's a really powerful thing.

"We've got to keep giving it to them though, it's a two-way thing, you don't expect the crowd to carry you through everything, we've got to give the crowd something, and I think the team are doing.

"They are giving the crowd something to grip and saying 'we are with you' as a team.

"Great value in that and great respect for it."

The crowd have a new hero in deadline day signing Wout Weghorst, who was conducting the fans on the way off the field after the win over Spurs, as they sung his name.

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The Netherlands international has bought into what the town and club are about, with his hard work everybit as impressive as his technical ability.

One moment when Burnley were defending their lead against Spurs summed it up, when his dogged determination saw him retain possession from a lost cause high up the pitch, with the roar from the crowd almost as loud as the goal.

Dyche added: "In a way maybe that's a lost thing about football, and why is it lost? Why would it be lost that a player tries his lot, chases a lost cause and gets a foot on it, that shouldn't be lost.

"It's only a theory that it is, but it doesn't have to always be an amazing pass or an amazing bit of talent, sometimes it can be just authenticity, the rawness of a performance.

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"You've got a very talented player in Wout, and he is working, tackling, blocking, back in our box, legs had gone and we wanted to get him off earlier, but he keeps putting a shift in.

"He just kept on and on and on, and what a shining example that is, giving your lot.

"I just think that shouldn't go out of fashion, and it won't in my time here, that's for sure.

"I want players giving their lot, that's the demand here.

"He came in and said he'd heard about the Burnley way, and I said 'you're right, you'll fit in nicely!'

"And he has done."

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Dyche has similarly fit the bill since taking the reins in October 2012, creating a culture at the club which the fans have long since admired.

He always respected the fans at the club from his playing days: "When I first came here, it was with Chesterfield when they were very strong, with quite a big number here, the Longside and Bee Hole End were still there, in the third tier.

"I played here in the Championship, varying times and situations, but the FA Cup quarter-final down at Watford (in 2003), they filled the whole end and I remember thinking they were really on it that day. I know it was a big game, but they were on it.

"It's strange I ended up being Burnley manager because I always enjoyed playing here, I always used to play pretty well, but I always enjoyed it, the feel of it.

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"I remarked when I came here, you'd pull in on the bus and there were Burnley shirts everywhere, everyone was wearing them, grandparents, the child in the pram, and I always thought you don't see that often.

"So they are the things that stick in your mind.

"Maybe it was fate I ended up here, who knows?"