BURNLEY manager Sean Dyche insists that members of his promotion-winning squad will not find themselves surplus to requirements next season – even if a number of new signings arrive this summer.
The Clarets boss released David Edgar, Keith Treacy, Brian Stock and Nick Liversedge at the end of the season and plans to add to his squad over the summer as he prepares for the Premier League.
But he says it will not be a case of ‘replacing’ any of his Championship stars with new arrivals, stressing that everyone will have a part to play next term.
Burnley used only 23 players during the 2013/14 campaign and Dyche’s priority is to add numbers to that squad.
“If you think about it rationally, in our world we’ve got that small a squad it’s not about replacing anyone, it’s just that we need more players, it’s really simple,” he said.
“Whereas if you’re the average club that go up, say like Cardiff last year with probably 27 players under contract, that’s a different thing, because you are then looking at players who are probably at some point going to replace the players.
“With us it’s more building a group. It’s not whether they’re going to play or not, it’s whether the challenge of the group can bring the best out of each other moving forward, and that really is just simple facts.
“We haven’t got big numbers and a few have gone now so we’ve got less numbers.
“So we have to strengthen no matter what, but not necessarily to replace people, just to add to the group and add to the power of the group.”
Dyche brought in the likes of Tom Heaton, David Jones, Scott Arfield and Michael Kightly last summer, with all four playing crucial roles in Burnley’s surprise promotion to the top flight.
Heaton, Jones and Arfield were all without clubs at the time, while Kightly joined on loan after falling down the pecking order at Stoke City.
Dyche wants any signings he makes this summer to be as motivated as last year’s additions.
“It’s not about having a point to prove, you want them to just come in wanting to do well, that’s the key marker,” said the boss.
“It’s well documented that the signings we made last year did fantastically well.
“Player trading is not an exact science – whether they’re paid for, whether they’re free transfers.
“I’ve been in the game a long time and so have my staff. We make sure to the best of our ability we can check out people both on and off the pitch, their backgrounds, what they’re about, what they’re like.
“We’ve done well with it so far, but it is only so far.
“Money now comes into it, agents now come into it.
“Last year we didn’t have any to spend so it was kind of easier in a way because obviously you’re only looking at a certain market, and the best of that market, whereas now the market’s opened up a little bit.
“In the grand scheme of the norm of the Premier League, we’ll still be at the bottom of that in terms of spending etc.
“So it will certainly still be about aligning the right types, not just the right players.
“They have to fit with the model and the belief in what we’ve got here.”