“I think he had the early signs…” - Burnley boss Sean Dyche not surprised by success of Brendan Rodgers
Sean Dyche isn’t surprised in the slightest that Brendan Rodgers has carved out a impressive career in management.
Dyche was Under 18s coach at Watford when Rodgers took the reins at Vicarage Road in his first role as a first team number one in November 2008.
Having led the club to 13th, avoiding relegation, Rodgers was head hunted by Reading, where he had been academy director, with Malky Mackay taking over as Hornets boss, with Dyche his assistant.
Rodgers recovered from a difficult time at the Madejski Stadium, where he left by mutual consent after just six months, going on to enjoy great success with Swansea City, Liverpool, Celtic and now Leicester City.
And, ahead of Burnley’s trip to the Foxes on Saturday, Dyche said of his good friend: “I think he had the early signs…he’s moulded himself, don’t forget he took a knock by leaving Watford for Reading, and it didn’t work out there.
”He then put himself back on the map with Swansea, and of course went so close to winning the league with Liverpool.
”He’s never lacked the capability, he’s just become more rounded, more experienced, and that experienced increases, going to Celtic and the experience of that, and then coming back down to a good club like Leicester and taking it on in his own format and way.
”His record over the years has been very good, and like I say, I caught him at a very early stage when he was learning himself, as we always are.”
Rodgers came agonisingly close to ending Liverpool’s 24-year wait for a league title in 2014, and while Jurgen Klopp has since delivered their holy grail, often Rodgers’ role in the Reds’ renaissance is washed over now.
And south of the border, winning two-successive trebles with Celtic perhaps doesn’t get the respect it deserves.
However, Dyche doesn’t doubt his achievements: ”At those clubs (Celtic and Rangers), you have to win the league, and obviously he did, and the record he had there was fantastic.
”It’s different from a manager’s point of view because I have a lot of respect for managers, wherever they’re at, especially the ones who go on and be successful.
”Because Jurgen Klopp went in and changed the way people view him and the club there, sometimes Brendan’s role in it gets a little bit pushed to the side a bit - he went so close to taking them to the title with a very good style, and a very good group of players, and went so close, but then it didn’t continue.
”But he’s gone on and done fantastically well at Celtic, where there is always an obvious demand and expectancy, but he won it and dealt with it and won cups and the rest of it, and now Leicester, and he’s had his successes there, so fair play.
“I think he’s done fantastically well from the beginning, to where he is now.”
Having won Leicester’s first FA Cup in May, the Foxes have started the season with two wins and three defeats, but Dyche knows his side will have to be full tilt to get anything: ”I think they’ve moulded a good side there over the last few years, and I think he’s definitely added his own stamp to it and what he wants from them and how he wants them to work, that’s quite apparent.
”A slightly trickier start this season, but I don’t think anyone’s thinking too much of that, we’re certainly not, we know they’re a good side and know we’ll have to deliver a really strong performance down there.”