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Dyche in call for a response from his Clarets
EITHER way, Sean Dyche anticipates a response. But he expects his current club’s to be better than his old one.
Burnley had a 12-game unbeaten run ended in controversial circumstances at Huddersfield on Saturday, with a poor penalty award sealing their fate and knocking them down a place into second after two months at the top.
Watford, meanwhile, suffered a fourth straight home defeat, and head to Turf Moor without a win in six outings, conceding 13 goals in that time – three on three separate occasions.
Dyche will expect a reaction from the Hornets tonight.
In Burnley’s last two outings they have encountered opposition who have delivered their best performances of the season, relishing taking on the league leaders.
But as always Dyche is more concerned with keeping his own house in order, and making sure Burnley raise the bar higher still.
“We’ve spoken about it to the players before the last few games,” said the Clarets boss.
“After six or seven games it’s ‘good old Burnley’, after 10 it’s like ‘they seem to be doing a bit’, you get to 16 people say ‘hang on, these are decent’ and they take you even more seriously.
“That’s been on show. They (Huddersfield) came out very hard, pressed us and made it difficult for us, we didn’t use the ball cleverly, we didn’t extend the pitch enough if I’m honest.
“The second half was completely different. Not just the energy but the quality and the delivery.
“We created enough chances I thought to get back even despite the decisions that went against us.”
But after bouncing back from their only other league defeat this season – at Brighton in August – to embark on that impressive unbeaten run, Dyche is counting on a similar comeback.
“It’s a reminder to us how tough this division is. We know that anyway,” he said.
“We’re still right up there and we’re deserving of the position we’re in so it’s important we re-focus on what we’re about and get ready to deliver from the first whistle because we’re up there for a reason – because we’re a good side.
Dyche added: “First thing’s first, our team has to be mentally ready and understanding of what teams are trying to do.
“We’re up there for a reason and we’ve got to be ready for teams being at you and playing and passing and scoring goals.
“The second half on Saturday was back to where we are, back to what we can do, back to what we can achieve pretty much but by then it was pretty difficult because the big decisions had gone against us.
“But we have to bring that second half into the next performance.”
Next up is his old club Watford.
With his old club playing catch-up 18 months after relieving him of his managerial duties in favour of Gianfranco Zola, Dyche would be forgiven for feeling smug.
But that is not his style.
“Genuinely not, and I mean that sincerely. If you ask my family, friends – I’m just not built that way,” said the back-to-back manager of the month winner, who spent eight years at Vicarage Road as player, coach and in his final season as manager.
“I’ve enjoyed every experience I’ve had in football.
“I had my worst time as a player at Bristol City but there’s no angle when I go back there and there’s no angle to my thoughts on the club.
“I actually learnt more in two years there than I probably did for the rest of my career to be honest through having a real tough time.
“But I had a great time at Watford. I remember the good things about what my career was as a player and as a coach and manager but I focus on what we’re doing here and I’m enjoying every day that goes by at Burnley Football Club.
“The challenges are obvious, you’ll have seen that with what’s gone on in the market over the last couple of weeks with the changes in managers.
“I’m part of that, but I enjoy that challenge. I think every manager does to be honest.”
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