Sean Dyche insists this Burnley squad have a BETTER chance of avoiding Premier League relegation than his 2015 group – who went down in his first top-flight campaign at Turf Moor
- Burnley have sunk to the foot of the Premier League, five points from safety
- The Clarets face Arsenal on Sunday, but still have several games in hand
- Sean Dyche’s side who were relegated in 2015 lacked experience
- The Burnley manager is confident his 2022 group is strong enough to stay up
Sean Dyche has insisted his current Burnley squad are better equipped to stave off relegation than the class of 2015 who went down in his first season in the Premier League.
The Clarets visit Arsenal on Sunday bottom of the table though they have played fewer than any team in the division with matches called off because of Covid.
There have also been reports of new owner Alan Pace delaying payments owed to former directors which are required to complete the takeover of the club – though they have been strongly refuted.
Sean Dyche is convinced Burnley can use their games in hand to move out of the drop zone
Burnley are at threat of relegation again, having dropped down in 2014-15 under Dyche
Burnley went down under Dyche lacking strength in depth to back up emerging talents like Kieran Trippier, Michael Keane and Danny Ings.
The Turf Moor boss, who took the club back up at the first attempt and is now the Premier League’s longest-serving manager, says the outlook should be brighter this time.
‘We had a very small squad with limited experience. We hardly invested in the team because finance went into helping the club move forward with things like the training ground – rather than on the pitch and with the wage structure,’ said Dyche.
‘I think it is a different ballpark now. It’s not that we are huge payers or anything but we have got a more experienced group, that’s obvious.
‘We have players who have cost us more money. It doesn’t always guarantee things but there is an investment to at least make us a team that can be competitive.
The Clarets face Arsenal next and are under pressure with Norwich starting to rise back up
‘I don’t think you can measure the two but you always need very good players and the balance of energy, tactical understanding and technical quality of course.
‘You also need to be on the right side of the margins. We haven’t had seasons where we can free flow and win threes and fours all the time.
‘We have had to work very hard to get on the right side of games and that has been the biggest challenge this season. There are times we have played well and not taken that win. We’ve had lots of draws.’
Though striker Chris Wood has joined Newcastle for £25million, exciting winger Maxwel Cornet is due back after the African Cup of Nations.
Burnley still have to squeeze in 21 of their 38 league games with less than half the season left.
Dyche doesn’t want special treatment but hope the fixture list can be arranged so they don’t have to face games within a 48-hour period.
Burnley were forced to sell striker Chris Wood to relegation rivals Newcastle United
‘The Watford game is obviously now on FA Cup weekend which is helpful and common sense,’ he said.
‘I will have to wait and see how the scheduling is pulled out. You hope the Premier League, by no means favour Burnley, but give a fair view that we have more games and is there any way we can nick a day extra or whatever between our normal running schedule.
‘We are going to have to work with the Premier League and hope we get just a chance to make sure there is enough rest and recovery time.’
Dyche confirmed he wouldn’t have contemplated letting Wood leave without Newcastle meeting a release clause.
‘There was no plan to sell any of our players. There was no word from the ownership here to me about selling any players,’ he said.
‘But when someone has got a clause, and it gets opened, you haven’t got any choice. If there hadn’t been a clause in Chris’ contract, we wouldn’t have sold him.’