KIERAN Trippier has credited manager Sean Dyche for making Burnley mentally tough enough for a top two tussle.
The Clarets maintained a four-point gap over third placed Queens Park Rangers after they slipped to a 3-1 defeat at home to Reading on Sunday, 24 hours after Dyche’s side had come back from behind to earn a draw at Bournemouth.
It was one of the 16 occasions that Burnley have gone into the break level and come out of the game with at least a point.
All told, they have won six, drawn nine and lost just once when drawing at half-time earning 27 of their 60 points.
In 31 games the Clarets have trailed five times going into the second half, but have recovered to draw three of them. While on the 10 occasions the Clarets have gone into the break ahead, they have gone on to win them all.
Trippier says the statistics don’t just showcase the team’s increased fitness levels, but a strong mindset too.
And the right back insists that is all down to Dyche.
“When we went down at Leicester, we were 1-0 down at half-time and it could’ve been four, but he didn’t go mad, he didn’t get angry. He just told us how good we are as players and we should go out there and believe,” he said.
“We went out there and got an early goal and got the draw.
“He doesn’t hammer people, he just gives you a lot of confidence and lets you know what you can do better.
“He doesn’t go mad, he just lets you know what you can do in the second half to make an impact.
“His man management is really good and he lets you know if you’re out of line and when you're doing well.
“He’s done an unbelievable job.”
Trippier revealed he felt the benefit of Dyche’s words of guidance and wisdom most recently when he endured a difficult start against Bolton last week – a game the Clarets went on to win 1-0 after a goalless first half.
“For the second half at Bolton for instance, he just let me know not to dive in on Chung Yong Lee and I thought I defended better,” the former Manchester City defender continued.
“He hasn’t ever ‘lost it’ with the players, he just lets you know that you can do better.”