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Dyche wants Clarets to match fans' expectations
SEAN Dyche says he and his players are learning to live up to the expectations of Clarets fans, but admits it is an ongoing process, and not an easy one.
Supporters were on edge after Burnley failed to hold their lead and take only a point against Barnsley. For the second home game in a row, following on from defeat to Huddersfield, there were boos at the final whistle.
Dyche acknowledges the demand for entertainment, allied with results.
“I didn’t come here just thinking ‘good old Burnley, we’ll just tick over’. I came here thinking ‘how can we push it, how far can we go?” said the Clarets boss.
But after a number of changes following on from one season in the Premier League, including his own appointment partway through this season, he feels expectation needs to be tempered with a dose of realism when their position is compared to some of the Championship heavyweights.
“We’ve just had four points from the last two games,” said Dyche, who is looking to add to that return with the televised visit of Hull City on Monday night, after overcoming a run of six games without a win at Charlton, where Charlie Austin’s wondergoal was enough to settle it.
“While there’s room for improvement it’s not to be overly concerned about. We’re sitting 11th in pretty good shape after an awkward run of results with some awkward instances outside of some of those results with injuries and suspensions.
“It’s important in the bigger picture we know what we’re doing and we believe in what we’re doing because that bodes well for the last 10 games.
“There’s improved fitness to the players that have been injured, get them back fit, that goes into the melting pot of the team that we pick, and we want them to play freely, and we want our crowd to allow them to do that.”
Dyche is well aware of fans’ sense of frustration.
“I think there’s a massive expectation here. It’s as simple as that,” he said. “I’m getting to know about it and learn from it.
“The fans govern that expectation and they govern the whys and the wherefores of it.
“We play hard, that’s our job. Our responsibility is to maintain performances, build on performances, improve, develop players, win games and try to do it the right way.
“The fans have an edginess at the minute and that’s sometimes the way with big expectation.
“Only the fans can decide how the expectation lies and for what reason and for what they think is appropriate for the club and the team.”
Right now he feels it has not become a burden on the players, and is conscious of keeping it that way as he looks to mould a team mixed with youth and experience into one that can eventually challenge for the top six.
“I was chatting to a couple of the players over the last few days. In theory all players want to play at the top level – you play at the top level and there’s expectation no matter where you are,” he said.
“It’s getting more prevalent in football as a whole, which I think is a mirror of life.
“We all want it yesterday, we all want it top quality and we all want it cheap.
“People want success yesterday, they want it cheap, but they want it to be top drawer.
“That’s an ask to deliver that.
“Even a club with massive resources find it hard to deliver that. It’s a reality of the business.
“That expectation is there. It’s irrelevant what I think to it – it’s there.
“It’s of more interest to me to get the team to understand it, live up to their own expectations as much as anything.
“But that is balanced with a reality that there are 11 others trying to stop you doing that and sometimes your team gets changed around for reasons out of your control.
“There’s a set of officials who can do things that are out of your control.
“All of that goes into the mix, you come out of it and you have a balanced view of it, because that’s my job – keep the players ready, motivated and keep them ready to go and deliver.”
Dyche, who hopes to have Ben Mee, Michael Duff and Ross Wallace back in contention – with midfielder Dean Marney struggling to face his former club on Monday, added: “Burnley as a club has its expectations and the fans are no different.
“They’ll have an expectation – reality bound or not, whatever way you look at it that’s our expectation to be arguably in the top six challenging all these really powerful financial clubs.
“I didn’t come here just thinking ‘good old Burnley, we’ll just tick over’.
“I came here thinking ‘how can we push it, how far can we go, can we tidy up the framework, can we still express ourselves to go and score goals, can we develop players in among all that? – all for the ongoing success of the club and the financial model that’s in place.
“All of those things go into 90 minutes, and you get judged positively or negatively within 90 minutes without too much thought to everything else I’ve just mentioned. It’s just that 90 minutes.”