Saturday 1 October 2016

Dyche bearing no grudges

Published 24/04/2015 | 16:21

Burnley manager Sean Dyche, pictured, has no issues with his Leicester counterpart Nigel Pearson
Burnley manager Sean Dyche, pictured, has no issues with his Leicester counterpart Nigel Pearson

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has no interest in building up this weekend's crunch relegation battle with Leicester as a grudge match.

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Foxes boss Nigel Pearson described Burnley as "quite poor" earlier this season.

But Dyche has no intention of dragging up that matter to add spice to what is already likely to be a highly-charged occasion at Turf Moor on Saturday.

The two clubs, both promoted from the Sky Bet Championship last season, meet in a game that could have huge implications for either side's chances of surviving in the Barclays Premier League.

Burnley go into the game bottom of the table but just two points from a safe position and two behind 18th-placed Leicester.

"Every manager has the chance to say whatever they want to," said Dyche when reminded of Pearson's comments, which came after Burnley snatched a stoppage-time equaliser at the King Power Stadium in October.

"I have no problem with that.

"If you look in my history, I have very rarely - if ever - questioned the opposition or the manager.

"I made a conscious decision that I would respect everyone and how difficult it is. Even before I was a manager I had a feeling of how tough it is.

"But everyone to their own. They have the chance to say or do whatever they see fit."

Pearson felt Burnley were fortunate when substitute Ross Wallace struck in the sixth minute of stoppage time to claim a 2-2 draw the last time the sides met.

"It is a game we should have won," he said at the time. "I don't think they really deserved to get anything out of the game. I thought they were quite poor on the day."

His remarks attracted criticism but they never bothered Dyche, who crossed paths with Pearson as a player when third-tier Chesterfield took on then-Premier League Middlesbrough in the 1997 FA Cup semi-finals.

Asked if he had spoken to Pearson, Dyche said: "No, but not because of any other reason than I don't know him that well.

"I know him from last season, saying 'Well done Nigel, great job', but I didn't know him before.

"Semi-final in the FA Cup? I didn't know him, he didn't know me. He could only just see me he was that high up the division and I was that far down!"

At the time of the draw between the clubs last autumn, Leicester were playing confidently, having claimed a stunning 5-3 win over Manchester United in a positive start.

That spirit has recently returned with three successive wins taking them off the bottom of the table, and Dyche is surprised they are in trouble.

"I am not suggesting they should be top 10 but I thought they would win more," said Dyche, whose side have scored just once in seven games.

"When they got off to a good start I thought they would maintain that and be in good shape.

"But they have had a few things go against them, like us. Maybe they have changed at the right time.

"Everyone needs a scratch of luck and we need that as well, whether it is Leicester or the games after that - but mainly we need to build on performing properly."

Press Association

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