Wembley is another experience to add to the many we've had - Dyche

The old cliche about appearing at places like Wembley was to play the game, not the occasion.

Saturday, 26th August 2017, 10:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:31 pm
Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium

That was back when the national stadium was the holy grail - you either played there in a cup final, or for England.

Nowadays, with stadiums such as Old Trafford and the Emirates rivalling Wembley for size and grandeur, Sean Dyche feels his side will be quite at home facing Spurs on Sunday.

Tottenham are playing their home games at Wembley this season while White Hart Lane is revamped into a 61,000 capacity ground which dwarfs their current home.

Dyche expects his players won't be overawed, however: “The idea of Wembley has changed down the years because of all the different events there, different finals, and also because the stadia in general has improved so massively in my lifetime that if you go to the Emirates it’s nearly as big as Wembley anyway.

“You’ve got the Manchester stadiums as well, so going into Wembley is not the same as when I was a kid.

“It was a massive thing then, Wembley was huge and you thought 'my goodness you’re at Wembley', whether you’re watching or playing or whatever, whereas now I think there are that many good stadia the players have got more used to playing in these venues.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s still Wembley, there’s still an edge to it. It’s just not like when I was growing up watching through a screen and it was like the be-all and end-all.

“I remember going to Wembley watching Kettering v Stafford Rangers in 1979. Kettering lost unfortunately. But the whole town was going there on a bus and it was an enormous thing just to be at Wembley.

“But the stadia is so good across the board, particularly some of the big Premier League clubs, it’s just got a different feel now. Still with an edge, but not the edge that it used to have when I was growing up."

Spurs have only won one of their last 10 games at Wembley, having used it for European ties last season, but Dyche isn't interested in talk of any hoodoo and is purely focused on his side and producing a performance to give them a chance of getting a result: “The only thing that works to your advantage is playing well, in my opinion, for us.

"Obviously there’s some talk about them and how they’re feeling at Wembley and results and all that sort of stuff. We can’t control that. That’s in our world. For us it’s about performing. No matter what stadium you’re in you’ve got to perform well.

“I think it’s something different. Some of the players have been there, some haven’t. I think it’s just another experience to add to the many we’ve had here."

“It’s just a football pitch. Whistle blows, go run around, work really hard.

“A lot of people really overthink this game."

Dyche played there once while with Chesterfield, losing the 1990 Fourth Division play-off final to Cambridge United, who won with a Dion Dublin goal.

He sat out Chesterfield’s 2-0 play-off final win against Bury five years later with injury.