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It’s still one game at a time, insists Burnley boss Dyche
SEAN Dyche is sorry for repeating himself, but he makes no apology for the sentiment.
“One game at a time” is not a phrase that the Burnley manager uses for the sake of paying it lip service.
It is a philosophy that he firmly believes in, and his players are fully on board too.
It is how, while a promotion frenzy is being whipped up around them – and has been for weeks – they have managed to say so level-headed as they inch closer to the finishing line.
As far as the possibilities go on Good Friday, it is a case of ‘as you were’ the weekend before.
A Burnley win at Blackpool followed by defeat or draw for Derby County at Doncaster Rovers and the ‘P’ word which has been banned among all players and staff at Gawthorpe and Turf Moor will be on everyone’s lips because it will have been achieved.
But either way, Dyche’s focus will not shift from the next game, with FA Cup semi-finalists Wigan the visitors on Easter Monday.
Until then, his only target is taking on the Tangerines, and taking three points.
“Our focus has been clear all season and that is that it’s one game at a time, the next game coming, no matter what the game is,” said the Burnley boss.
“Our focus has been clear, pushing our levels for performance and pushing the boundaries on the physical side of it.
“We look fit and well, we’re delivering performances, there’s nice clarity to the way the team’s playing, we just look to take that into the next game, it’s as simple as that.
“Our share of what we’ve achieved this season and what we hope to continue achieving is purely getting the next win.
“The next game mantra is a real one, it’s authentic, we believe in it, that’s what we do. We look to deliver a performance on Friday, see what that outcome brings.
“If we get that win we’re looking forward to the next one and if things change in the meantime that’s the way it goes.
“But I can assure you we’ll continue with that mantra, looking at the next game as it comes.”
He added: “I’ve been authentic with it this year.
“I think people have slowly but surely come to believe it because I’ve been saying it all year.
“It’s not a get-out, there’s not an angle to it, it’s just something we agreed as a group and I believe in it. I’ve not been trying to box clever. I’ve been saying it since game four or whatever, and we’re 42-deep into the league programme.
“I think it’s fair to say that it’s a realistic way that we’ve worked this year.”
Dyche delivers the rationale behind his season’s slogan in arguably the most relaxed press conference of the campaign.
You would never sense the stakes were so high, or that his side have to overcome the frustration of losing only their second home game of the season to get a stronger grip on automatic promotion in their Good Friday game at Bloomfield Road.
But then again there was no shortage of encouraging signs on Saturday, with the exception of Middlesbrough’s smash-and-grab raid.
“It’s a funny business we’re in because there’s an odd occasion where you have to look past the result because the performance level was that high and that good,” said Dyche.
“You get, arguably, a couple of those in a season. We haven’t had one for ourselves, where the game’s been that powerful for someone else and you nick the result. You never know, it might come soon.”
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