LIFE after promotion. It has been blissfully normal as far as Sean Dyche is concerned.
“I sat on the M6 for three-and-a-half hours, saw the kids, got a bed delivered for my lad Max and made that up,” he said.
“Life goes on. People think you’re just rolling around the streets with bottles of champagne.
“I cut the lawns, made a few phone calls. I haven’t done a lot.
“I haven’t been out celebrating too much. Me and my wife had a bottle of champagne and a bit of dinner. I saw the kids. It was good celebrating with the kids, that’s more my style really, get the family around me.
“And that’s really what we’ve done.”
Just like life before promotion, it is business as usual for the Burnley boss.
The only things out of the ordinary are the sleepless nights.
“I’m a really good sleeper normally but I can’t sleep,” the 42-year-old revealed.
“I was always pretty steady as a player. Before a big game, I always slept well.
“I think that’s been a weird payback, in a good way obviously, but I just keep thinking that the main journey’s over. The destination’s complete. It’s kind of weird just thinking about it.
“I think it’s more the excitement of it – getting the job done – because there is that anxiety before it, then you need your rest.
“But I don’t need rest now because I’m fully fuelled.
“The brain’s working a million miles an hour at the minute, the endorphins are very positive.
“It’s certainly been a nice feeling, that’s for sure.”
Another plus to being alert while the world sleeps is that it has given him a chance to reply to the hundreds of text messages he received congratulating him on winning promotion.
“I think it was 328 texts, but I got them all done because I couldn’t sleep. I had to build a bed the day after so it was a good opportunity to get them done,” he smiled, relaxed in the knowledge that a relentless season has been rewarded with the ultimate prize.
“What made it more anxious was when the team accelerated into a big gap.
“If you’re in any kind of race and it’s marginal, it could go either way and everyone knows it.
“But once we got that gap everyone was like, ‘Go on then, let’s see now.’ “Then there were a few injuries and people were (sceptical). It was a positive anxiety.”
While it was the Easter Monday win at home to Wigan Athletic guaranteed a return to the Premier League, Dyche felt Michael Kightly’s winner at Blackpool on Good Friday, which temporarily opened the gap over Derby County to 11 points, was the clincher.
“Deep down I thought the Blackpool game was the one that would do it, and it sort of was mentally I think because after that stats start kicking in,” he said.
“Derby are in a weird position now because they’ve won four on the trot but they don’t want to win six. You know why? Because the stats tell you you’re not going to win seven, eight and nine.
“They had to either attack us and do it or not do it.
“I felt by beating Blackpool the stats changed massively in our favour because then Derby had to win all six.
“That’s when you’re in the world of statistics, not just performance.
“There are only four teams this year I think who have put more than six together – us, Wigan, Derby, QPR.
“If you look at that and think they’ve got to do six again, it wasn’t impossible but highly improbable.
“So that’s why I thought the Blackpool game was that important.”
The Clarets only had to wait three more days for confirmation, and party time for the players.
Dyche admitted he had no problem in letting his players celebrate their success.
“Absolutely. It was Monday night. If it had been a Thursday by random chance then no, but Monday absolutely,” he said, insisting that after a two-day break they were back in fine form for training on Thursday and ready to go again as they look to surpass the 90-point mark with two games left.
“I’ve made it clear all year, the thing that no-one sees is what we do on the training ground.
“The way they work now, they’ve been doing it for nine months so it’s ground into them.
“They’re absolutely flying.”