SEAN Dyche can understand why today's Turf Moor fixture with Watford is being dubbed as a meeting between the Premier League's surprise packages this season.

With 15 games of the campaign gone Burnley sit in seventh place with the Hornets just one place and three points further back.

Both sides have surpassed expectations this season, with the Clarets making light of the loss of key players in Michael Keane and Andre Gray, who returns to Turf Moor with Watford today (3pm).

And the Hornets have enjoyed a fine start under Marco Silva having had a change in the dugout again this summer as well as high turnover in the squad.

“I can understand why," Dyche said when asked about the the two sides being dubbed surprise packages.

"We're written off every year and we're used to that so when you do have such a strong start people will find surprise in that.

“I've made it clear I think we're in a very healthy position, probably more so than I thought. Not because I doubt my group but because we're honest about how tough the league is."

Dyche enjoyed a year in charge at Vicarage Road in his first managerial position, guiding them to 11th place in the Championship in the 2011/12 season.

A change of ownership saw him leave the club that summer and he was installed at Turf Moor in October 2012.

The Hornets are on to their eighth manager since Dyche left the club, with only Gianfranco Zola, Dyche's immediate replacement, lasting more than 44 games and the Italian only took charge of 66 fixtures.

Silva has done a fine job so far and Dyche believes he's brought a fresh approach to the players.

“With Watford they've rotated the group, buying and selling again which is their model, and another new manager," he said.

“He could probably work with them fresh mindedly rather than work with someone else's group, and he's done a very good job.

“They're a different club to the one I left but they're a very good club and one that had a very definite part in my playing career as well as coaching and management. There's never any angle to me leaving there."

Silva has enjoyed relative success since coming to the Premier League with Hull City in January, impressing on Humberside despite failing to keep the Tigers up.

His appointment was criticised by Paul Merson at the time and last week Sam Allardyce questioned Silva's record, but Dyche has no issue with the Portuguese boss.

"I have no problem with any manager coming into the game over here, it’s the reality," he said.

"If you’re good you’re good, if you’re deemed to be good you’re deemed to be good, if you get a chance to be good then try and be good.

"If you’re a pundit you’re paid to give a view. That’s why I never think another of the pundits, it’s their job to give a view. It would be boring if they started giving no view. It doesn’t make the right view, if I give my opinion then it’s my opinion, it doesn’t make it the right opinion."