BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche has signed a ‘new and improved’ contract at Turf Moor – and he is relishing the chance to pit his wits against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea on the opening day of the season.
Dyche, assistant manager Ian Woan and first-team coach Tony Loughlan have all put pen to paper on new deals, a week after the Lancashire Telegraph revealed that the Clarets boss was close to committing his future to the club.
Dyche had a year left on his previous contract, although Burnley are remaining tight-lipped over the length of his new deal.
“We are very pleased to announce that we have agreed new and improved contracts with Sean Dyche and his staff,” co-chairmen John Banaszkiewicz and Mike Garlick said in a joint statement. “We thank them all for their hard work.”
The trio have incredibly guided the Clarets into the Premier League and it was announced yesterday morning that Burnley will host Chelsea in their first game back in the top flight.
The game is currently scheduled for Saturday, August 16, but could yet be switched for television.
Burnley then travel to Swansea City on August 23 before their second home game against Manchester United on August 30.
Dyche said: “It’s terrific. It’s a real welcome, with the big guns coming to Turf Moor straight away.
“It’s great for the team, great for the fans and great for the town actually.
“It is kind of welcome back to the Premier League, but in the best sense.
“We all want to see the best teams at Turf Moor. That’s what we have been striving to achieve really – to play against those big clubs, and straight away they’re here.”
Jay Rodriguez’s Southampton visit Burnley on December 13, while the Clarets’ last game of the season is at Aston Villa on May 24.
Dyche has been busy attempting to strengthen his squad ahead of the new campaign and is hopeful of developments before the start of pre-season in early July.
“There is lots of work going on behind the scenes and there are a couple of things that are beginning to warm up,” said the boss.
“It’s the usual thing. The summer is often quiet, apart from when you look at the real big deals, and a lot of the big money boys are putting deals together.
“The World Cup maybe gets in the way of some things – not so much for ourselves you understand, in a nicest possible sense.
“But there’s a few things going on and we’re hoping to get things speeded up over the next week to 10 days or so.”
In their joint statement, Banaszkiewicz and Garlick said: “We are working hard to identify the most suitable transfer targets to be assets for the club in the long term.
“We will continue to invest in the recruitment, sports science and scouting that has been so important to us over the years, to ensure we continue to build on this prolific pipeline of players into the future.
“We are in the process of upgrading facilities at Turf Moor as part of our Premier League obligations and also to deliver better facilities for the fans.
“Part of these plans include making the ground a more intimidating place for visitors, and we are working on ideas to help generate a big atmosphere and help give the team a boost.
“We are particularly pleased that the sales of season tickets have continued in good volume, with limited availability remaining.
“Part of the reason we did so well last season was being underestimated by the opposition.
“In many ways we would like that to continue.”