It's about staying up - away win or not
While Sean Dyche would love to put Burnley's away bogey to bed at the earliest opportunity, if the Clarets can stay up without a win on the road, he admits it would be job done.
The end game this season is to stay in the Premier League by any means necessary, and though there are five away games remaining to claim a first win on their travels, starting at bottom side Sunderland tomorrow, Dyche knows it is about the bigger picture.His side have only two points away from home this season, but have won 29 at home, to lift them to 12th place, with 10 games remaining.Dyche said: "Inevitably, no one remembers what happens during the season. They only remember where the finish is."That’s for any season, forget about this season, that’s for any season, any team."If you win the league, no one really cares where the points came from."No one really cared about all the details among it. All they remember is the fact that you won the league."So our job is to get the right amount of points. That was the same at the beginning of the season, midway, now and going forward. That’s the main thing."It isn't an issue that has ground him down over the campaign, and wouldn't become an obsession if his players haven't broken their duck before becoming mathematically safe: "First things first, you’ve got to earn the right to be mathematically safe."And then after that, I’m still not that bothered about it."I’ve not really got that much ego about things like that. I just know that football’s a tough business."I played enough to know that. There are no guarantees to it."You have to just keep going all of the time, and that’s what our team do here. The one thing we have got, whenever we’re questioned about other things, is a strong mentality to just keep going relentlessly."I think, over a season, that can pay you back. It doesn’t guarantee you anything, but I think that can earn you some rewards along the way."If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. That’s the way it goes. We certainly put the effort in to make it happen, and to push the boundaries in our favour, whether that’s the coaching team, the analysis team, the sports science team, myself as manager, and the players."Sometimes, you can only do everything you can do, and then the odd time, you might earn or get a scratch of luck, and that is sometimes the defining thing."Asked whether he'd have expected more points on the road by this stage, Dyche said: "Well, whether it’s fair or not is irrelevant. The facts are that we haven’t. That’s just what it is."You could balance it up very quickly, and most do, with our home form. If we’d won six at home and three away, I don’t think anyone would bat an eyelid.
"The thing that I do find interesting is that we seem to get as much airplay as Leicester. They won the league last year.
"They’re in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and they haven’t won away in the Premier League.
"We seemingly get as much airplay as that, which I find interesting. I’m not trying to pass the buck, by the way, I’ll make that clear. I’m happy for everyone to question our away form. I don’t really hear that much about Leicester really. They won the league last year, they’re Champions League quarter-finalists, and they haven’t won away."
But he dismissed any notion of feeling cursed on the road: "No, I don’t think so. All you can hope for is that over a season, things that go against you level up. I don’t think they have so far.
"But no, I don’t think… I mentioned last week, actually, and I’m pleased it was reported on properly, because I used the word luck.
"I don’t mean that wins you a game, but now and again, you need a scratch of it to go your way.
"Usually, you earn the right, of course. There have been a few things that have gone against us, but not everything.
"Early in the season, we didn’t play well enough to win away, it’s as simple as that. More latterly, we have done, and then maybe a couple of things have gone against us.
"But I’m not superstitious. Some of those things would help when they go your way. You hope, ovefr a season, that you do get a couple of things go your way."
Burnley have won only four of 52 away games in their Premier League campaigns so far.
Only one came in their first, in 2009-10, at the 17th attempt, as they won 4-1 at Hull City - in a season where they were relegated with only four away points, the other coming in a 3-3 draw at Manchester City.
Two years ago they won at the sixth attempt, 2-1 at Stoke City, and also won their last two games, both 1-0, again at Hull, on the day they were relegated, before winning on the final day at Aston Villa. Burnley won 14 points awa that season.
Famously, they were promoted in 1993/94 to the First Division via a Wembley play-off final, having won only four of 23 away games, with 17 home wins.