‘I think we are better than we were last season’ - Sean Dyche
After Ross Wallace’s exquisite 96th minute free-kick salvaged a point before the international break, the Foxes chief suggested: “I think we are better than we were last season. I don’t think they are as good as they were last year on today’s performance.”
However, Dyche refused to be drawn in to a war of words and confessed that his focus was strictly on the goings-on at Turf Moor: “I made a conscious decision when I first came in to management that I don’t question the opposition, I don’t de-brand other managers and I don’t talk about them. I just talk about myself. I very rarely mention the opposition.
“I think it’s more important to look at my own business - that’s how I conduct myself. As regards us as a team - the reality is there are some challenges for us as a club. I think we’re a good side, I think we’re heading in the right direction, I think there’s growth in the side and I think they’ll continue to grow in to this season.”
Ahead of the clash with Sam Allardyce’s Hammers, Dyche commended the club’s form on home soil. The Clarets embarked on a 23-game unbeaten run at Turf Moor which was brought to an end in March when Leicester City won 2-0 en-route to sealing the Championship title last term.
But Dyche fully acknowledges that the Premier League poses a much tougher challenge. “We had a year unbeaten at home over last season and the season before so we know we made it a tough place for teams to come. But we have gone up a level and the level is different there’s no two ways about it.
“There’s a higher tactical understanding from teams, physical presence and capability is good, the skill level has increased and of course the mentality. There’s more players that have experienced more Premier League football than ours. Every game is a different challenge.”
West Ham, who spent around £17m in the summer on the likes of Ecuadorian striker Enner Valencia, French midfielder Morgan Amalfitano and defender Aaron Cresswell, arrive in good form having taken 10 points from seven league outings, including a 3-1 win over Liverpool. Ahead of Saturday’s 3 p.m. kick-off Dyche said: “It’s well documented they’ve done very well. They’ve spent a lot of money in the summer and spent wisely by the looks of things. They’ve got a different kind of edge to them this season and they’ve done very well. They’ve got a very experienced manager, experienced staff and an experienced group of players. It’s another great challenge for us with them coming up to Turf Moor.”