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It's not all about Austin, warns Burnley boss Dyche
SEAN Dyche has warned Burnley against putting too much emphasis on the ‘ex’ factor today.
Charlie Austin returns to face his old club for the first time since making his summer switch from Turf Moor to QPR.
After ending last season as the runaway top scorer with 28 goals, earning the player of the season prize, the Clarets are well aware of the striker’s strengths.
Dyche says Harry Redknapp’s side have too much quality to put the focus on one man.
“They’ve got a deep squad, household names, so it’s not just about Charlie,” he said.
But Dyche is looking for his side to play to their own strengths.
“When the whistle blows we’ve got a group of players who I feel a very motivated to go and deliver a performance in order to win,” he added.
“You can’t guarantee either, but you do all the work on the training pitch, you do all the work on the players to go onto the pitch and when that whistle blows they try to deliver it.
“We made it clear from day one of pre-season that was my expectation of myself, my staff and the group, to be ready when that whistle blows to go hard and play good football in order to win.
“We’ve found that balance well so far, we are coming up against a team that are well fancied, but the facts remain the same, that’s our intention, that’s what we hope to do and that’s what they’ve been delivering so far and take each challenge as it comes.
“Whatever people say about football it is 11 v 11 whatever way you look at it,” said the Burnley boss, who in stark contrast to counterpart Redknapp has not spent a penny in the transfer market in 12 months in charge.
Meanwhile, Dyche has reiterated that with Austin set to go into the last year of his Turf Moor contract the striker’s sale made good business sense for the club.
“There were decisions that had to be made to balance the club’s finances,” he said.
“I don’t believe in crying it in all the time, I just believe in talking in facts.
“He was sold for the right reasons for the club’s future. Rather than look at what we haven’t got look at what we have and what we’re trying to do. That’s been the focus.”
And the Burnley boss is pleased with the way his squad handled Austin’s departure, notably strikers Sam Vokes and Danny Ings, who boast a 19-goal partnership.
“You always miss good players and he’s a very good player,” he said.
“People have taken their chance and their responsibility to go and deliver performances. The obvious ones are Vokesy and Ingsy who have been terrific, the way they’ve gone about it and the way they’re developing.
“Vokesy has become one of the mainstays of the group, he knows that focus has to continue and the way he’s learning and progressing has to continue, but great signs from those two among many others.”
He added: “Charlie delivered fantastically for us in pre season. I thought there was an inkling he was going to stay. And then he left, simple as that.
“You look at the group and what we’re doing, in pre season I thought we were in good spirits. Ingsy was flying of course, Vokesy was starting to get fitter and we were concentrating on that immediately.
“Charlie left and I think the group looked at each other and thought ‘we’re still working’. And they have been.”
“It’s easy to say that, not so easy to make it happen where you lose good players and other players are developing and filling slots to go and perform to win. We’ve done that so far, but it is only so far.
“We’re enjoying it. We think there’s still more to come and we can keep maintaining performance levels, but we have to make sure we’re still ready to go hard.”
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