“It’s fair to say that it has been [mentally exhausting] and it’s fair to say that I’m ready for a break,” says Burnley boss Sean Dyche
After guaranteeing Burnley’s survival at Craven Cottage last month, boss Sean Dyche conceded that the 2020-21 campaign had been his most challenging in management to date.
And he appreciates that the season has been equally taxing on his stretched squad, after the Clarets played 53 times in the space of 11 months.
It has, without a shadow of a doubt, been the most physically exhaustive and mentally demanding period for clubs across the board.
Just 48 days separated the last two Premier League terms, from the end of July to early September, after Coronavirus caused significant disruption to the sporting schedule, including the postponement of Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games.
Players had limited opportunity to rest and recuperate before returning to the Barnfield Training Centre for pre-season.
Some were still carrying injuries from the previous campaign, while a lack of recruitment during the shorter off-season only added to the strain.
Dyche said: “It’s tough physically and mentally because of the turnover of games, the short period between the lockdown period to get football back on, which brings its challenges emotionally.
“While they’re doing all that, there hasn’t been a break, they haven’t been able to do what they’d normally do.
“They’ll go home, be with their families and then come back into training again.
“It’s been tough on them physically and mentally in general, and then they’ve had no break from it.
“With all that considered, with all the challenges, it’s been another tough season on the pitch.
“I think it’s been a tough season for the players too and they’ve put a lot into it to get us to where we are.”
The Clarets chief admitted that he’ll try to switch off from everything for a short period, in order to recharge the batteries, but revealed that there’s plenty of work still to be done ahead of the new season.
“It’s fair to say that it has been [mentally exhausting] and it’s fair to say that I’m ready for a break,” he said.
“I am looking to have a break, which is important.
“There’s a lot of work to be done, not just with these games, but a lot of chat behind what you see with where we can take it all.
“I will switch off at some point, I’ll do the best I can in this job, but it has been a really tough season for me as a manager, though I’m really pleased with how we’ve come out of it.”