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‘Greedy’ Burnley boss eager for more of the same
SEAN Dyche can have few complaints about a 100 per cent start to life as Burnley boss.
Back-to-back wins and clean sheets against two of the Championship’s most feared and most physical opponents have offered the former Watford manager the perfect Turf Moor introduction.
But despite his contribution to a run of four wins from five games – with the other two coming under Terry Pashley’s caretaker watch – Dyche insisted the Clarets remain a work in progress.
“Pash had done well to get the good mentality and we’ve added to that,” said the 41-year-old.
“I mentioned that when I took over – it’s about adding to what they do, it’s not about completely remodelling it and completely changing it.
“It’s about adding to some of the good stuff that was here, possibly working on the framework as I call it – the shape of the team – and the mentality. That’s been a big thing, to really grind in that winning mentality.
“They’re showing it at the moment. We’re still a work in progress, most teams are and we’re no different. There’s plenty more to come.
“There are a few players here who we think we can improve. That’s my staff’s job as well as my job to improve not just the mentality and the framework but to improve the players.
“I have a development back-ground and I believe anyone can develop, be it 34 or 16 and just starting out. That’s a big thing of what we do here.”
Nevertheless, the early signs have pleased the new Burnley chief, particularly the team’s new-found resilience.
When Dyche was announced as Eddie Howe’s successor last week, the Clarets boasted one of the best striking records in the country, but conversely had the Championship’s worst defensive record.
Since Dyche’s arrival Burnley have become only the second team this season to prevent both Wolves and Leeds United from scoring.
“The thing we’ve been speaking about with the lads is the winning mentality and the resilience to win when it’s not quite going your way, and I thought that was shown in abundance – the character, the way they went about it,” said Dyche in reference to the midweek win over Leeds.
“I’m greedy for it. We can still play better, as in dealing with the ball, but there were pockets of really good play and it was really pleasing.
“It’s very difficult in Championship football to dominate a whole match.
“But I was so delighted with the way they dealt with 20 minutes of real pressure (in the second half) because I said to them at half-time ‘if you do the basics well you’ll win this with your quality’ and the goal was absolutely top drawer.”
Charlie Austin stole the show with a late winner, making him the quickest Claret to reach 20 goals in a season.
“The thing I like is the team mentality and his mentality towards that,” said Dyche of his star striker.
“He’s staying nice and steady within himself and there’s still a demand in himself.
“There are quiet spells in the game but he just keeps going in there, and that’s what I love about real goalscorers. They don’t give it up, they always think ‘I’m going to nick one here.’ And in tight games like (Tuesday night), they’re the sort of people that you need to win them.”
Not even a run-in with Lee Peltier at the full-time whistle, where the two players had to be separated by team-mates could take the shine off a memorable night for Austin and co.
“I thought my missus had dropped her handbag,” joked Dyche.
“Sometimes, it’s a heated game, it’s a great game – great for the fans and a terrific occasion.
“I’m experiencing some of the derbies and the feel of it, which is great for me and my staff.
“It (the incident) was a tiny little thing.”