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One year to the day since Burnley's last defeat at fortress Turf Moor
4:00pm Tuesday 11th March 2014 in Sport
SOME people say it’s charity that begins at home. For Sean Dyche it’s clarity.
When the former Watford manager was given the key to the Turf Moor door in October 2012 there were issues within the squad he wanted to address and prioritise.
The biggest was a defensive dilemma. The team had become fragile.
Before his appointment was official he witnessed a capitulation at Cardiff City.
Home form was another area of concern.
Burnley’s famous old ground had lost some of its fear factor in the post-Premier League era.
In turn Dyche had noticed a gap growing between the club and the fanbase.
He spoke about ‘sweat on the shirt’ and ‘minimum requirement, maximum effort’ combining to influence a ‘one club mentality’.
Dyche started with the basics, reinforcing the rearguard, and built from there. Simple, but it has proved effective.
It took time and patience, although the latter was becoming increasingly in short supply with indifferent results at home last season.
After back-to-back home wins to announce his arrival as boss, there were only four further Turf successes before the end of the campaign.
It led to a drop in attendances.
Now, when reporters comment on the ‘Ginger Mourinho’ chants that have become increasingly frequent Dyche quips: “They didn’t always call me that.”
But he, and his players, got there eventually, and today marks 365 days since Burnley’s last Championship home defeat.
When they entertain Leeds on Saturday they will have gone through a full calendar year without a league loss at Turf Moor.
A total run of 21 games is Burnley’s third equal best sequence since 1901.
Improved form, most notably at home, has stemmed from having the second best defensive record in the division, and has brought supporters back.
“It’s fantastic for the club and the fans, and fantastic for the team,” said Dyche.
“We’ve certainly made this a very tough place for people to come. We enjoy playing here – we always have – it just feels better because you’re winning.
“Obviously that accelerates and boosts that feeling.
“Derby was another very good performance in front of our own crowd, and more people in, which is obviously another bonus to the fact that the belief and the feel around the town is growing considerably from early season.”
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