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Clarets Blog: Dyche deserves praise for Burnley job
SEAN Dyche doesn’t immediately strike you as being the kind of bloke who would have spent the last 10 days staring at the Championship table.
Yet it would have been entirely understandable had that been the case.
An enforced break from the Championship has lent pause for reflection. And reflection says that by any standards the start of the season has been, in no particular order, unlikely, unparalleled and almost unbelievable.
The manager deserves enormous credit for any number of things. There is a greater fitness throughout the squad.
The defensive sloppiness inherited from Eddie Howe has been stamped out. There is an ideal mix of graft and craft. Fringe players have been reintegrated. The loss of Charlie Austin has been easily and quietly absorbed.
And, on his watch, a player who struggled to hold down a position last season, let alone a starting place, has been scoring so freely and playing so well that his country have decided to take a closer look.
Yet perhaps Dyche’s greatest achievement is that he has managed to re-ignite belief amongst the supporters.
The last time the claret and blue faithful felt anything like this optimistic about their team was in 2008/09, when an unknown and unproven Scot arrived at Turf Moor and got Burnley promoted in his first full season.
So far so brilliant. The big question now, of course, is can they keep it going?
Owen Coyle, one recalls, had one distinct and sizeable advantage over Sean Dyche; namely a board that was happy enough, or at least one significant member of whom was happy enough, to go £11million or so into the red in order to try and realise the manager’s ambitions.
The current set of directors have recently gone on record to say they will do no such thing.
And quite right too.
That makes Dyche’s task that much more difficult, but certainly not impossible.
There are still a good few factors the manager has in his favour. This squad has a fearsome togetherness, a defence which is perfectly capable of keeping clean sheets and a striking partnership that is the envy of the division.
Its Achilles’ heel of course, is its size; or lack of it. No-one is suggesting that the board bet the ranch as someone once said. But the imperative to stake at least a small part of the grounds grows with every game.
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