"I still want more from him...because he can do it" - but Sean Dyche delighted with former Spurs man Aaron Lennon's form

Aaron Lennon has been rolling back the years for Burnley of late.

By Chris Boden
Monday, 21st February 2022, 10:30 pm

And he will hope to give Spurs fans a trip back in time to his pomp at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night.

The 34-year-old has started six of the last seven Premier League games, scoring twice, in the 3-1 defeat at Manchester United, and a stunning effort in the 3-0 win at Brighton on Saturday.

He will look to maintain his form against his former club, who always give him a good reception, having spent a decade at Spurs, where he made 364 appearances, scoring 30 goals, earning 21 England caps, and winning the club's last major honour, the 2008 League Cup.

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Aaron Lennon is mobbed after scoring the third at Brighton

After two and a half seasons with Burnley, where he scored just once in 55 appearances, he has returned renewed after a season with Kayserispor in the Turkish Süper Lig, and Dyche is delighted to see the smile on his face at present: "I think he should be enjoying his football - enjoying football sounds an easy thing, but it's not, when things are not working perfectly for the team and yourself sometimes, and we are in the position we are in, it can be difficult.

"A lot of noise outside, but some players find the enjoyment in that challenge, in that underdog situation, getting written off - all the things we've had down the years.

"There should be a great value in turning things around, and Aaron looks like he's a player who is thriving on that sort of situation lately.

"He looks ready to take it on, and we want him to enjoy it.

"He's earned the right, if you like, I don't mean in a flippant way, because he's played so many games he doesn't have to care, but when you've played as much football as he has, you should be enjoying your career, this period of your career, among a group of honest, open professionals.

"I think he enjoys the environment and I think he's doing very well at the moment, and enjoying the workload.

"I'm pleased for him and how he's going."

Dyche feels there is more to come from a player whose pace remains as blistering as ever: "I still want more from him, he's still quick, he can still open the game up more, break the back line more, he can still drive at people more, because he can do it.

"I think sometimes, even with his experience, you can be a bit safe in your performance, as you get older - when he was younger, you're more open-minded to just play.

"We want him to get back to that, and he's showing he can, with the open-mindedness to perform at Old Trafford, his game on Saturday, the way he delivered and worked so hard, the way he presses for the team - he was very good against Liverpool and won the ball back so many times for us in key positions.

"There are lots of good things about his game, when he relaxes and plays with a smile, like most players, he gets on top of his performance and looks like he's doing that - like a number of others at the moment.

"Browny was excellent against Liverpool, terrific, and very strong the other day, Erik Pieters with his experience, looks fit as a fiddle and thriving on what it is - we want that to continue.

"Aaron is popular because of who he is, a quirky little character, he gets on with life, he's no drama to anyone, and he's in a good environment and enjoying it.

"Everyone here knows they have to work, but there's a great enjoyment to be had, when you come off a performance like Brighton and run 8km more than the opposition, won 3-0, trust me, that link between working hard and getting your rewards is a fantastic feeling.

"I played enough to know how it feels when you've absolutely earned the right, individually and collectively."