Top 10 finish would be “considerable” achievement admits Burnley boss Sean Dyche
Seventh would secure Europa League football, after Manchester City’s UEFA ban was overturned on Monday, providing one of the Champions League qualifiers wins the FA Cup.
However, after reaching the Europa League with a seventh-place finish two years ago, Burnley could earn another top-10 season, holding a six-point advantage over Everton in 11th, ahead of the Toffees’ home game with Aston Villa this evening.
Asked about the incentive of finishing in the top 10, Dyche said: “I think it would be considerable.
“Every season is a restart, I don’t think we walk into a season expecting it’s all going to be rosy and a walk in the park, we’re not that naive.
“We have to earn the right every season and work for everything we get, take the hits sometimes, but equally we enjoy the good results.
“There’s a balance to how we work here, and equally a high level of respect and honesty from the group, and how they go about it, and those characteristics showed again “in the 1-1 draw with Wolves on Wednesday night.
”I personally think we’ve got a bit more talent than some people question.
“A lot give us good accolades, but some people question styles, etc, and we do what we do to be effective.
“That’s what I want, an effective team, if we can play, great, if we have to fight for everything to get results, fine, that’s what you have to do in the Premier League.”
As in the halcyon days of the club, Burnley continue to go toe to toe with big city clubs with far greater resources, and with Leeds United on the brink of a return to the Premier League, that will only add to the competition.
But as Stan Ternent used to say, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”.
Dyche added: “There are a lot of challenges in football across the board, no matter the size of club, different expectation levels, different belief levels in what you should be doing, and certainly a lot of different perceptions about clubs.
“We just stick to what we do, we believe in what we do, I trust my staff completely, the way they go about their business, that goes into the players, and I trust them entirely.
“When you have that as a foundation to work from, I believe we have talent, organisation, will and demand, we’re strong, fit, then I’m not really bothered about size of clubs.
“It comes down to the way your team operates in order to win games. That’s the key for me.
“It’s very difficult in the Premier League to play one style and fathom it out every week.
“The top clubs can do it, but everyone else has to find a way, and we’ve done it consistently over season after season.”
Burnley have only lost one Premier League game in their last 14 outings – the first game of the restart at Manchester City.
And they go to Carrow Road looking to try and extend that superb run against the relegated Canaries.
However, with skipper Ben Mee, Jack Cork, Ashley Barnes and Matt Lowton out for the rest of the season, Dyche’s threadbare squad could be stretched even further.
Charlie Taylor came off in the first half against Wolves with a hamstring problem, while striker Jay Rodriguez was withdrawn shortly after the break with a tight calf.
Dyche said: ”I think there’s a chance he’ll be out (Taylor), but we always give it 24 hours to allow the injury to settle down, so I’ll find out more. Hamstrings are tough to settle down in two or three days. Jay Rod I am bit more hopeful with because that was me being cautious.”