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Saturday 1 October 2016

Retiring Michael Duff pays tribute to Sean Dyche

Published 18/05/2016 | 22:36

Michael Duff, right, has accepted a position on Sean Dyche's staff
Michael Duff, right, has accepted a position on Sean Dyche's staff

Retiring Burnley defender Michael Duff has hailed Clarets boss Sean Dyche as "one of the best young managers" in England as he prepares to join his backroom staff.

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The 38-year-old announced his playing career had finished after he secured a third Barclays Premier League promotion with the east Lancashire club earlier this month, and he bows out having made 383 Burnley appearances, a number which puts him 13th on the club's all-time list.

Duff will remain at Turf Moor having taken up a post as an academy coach and he hopes to learn from the 44-year-old Dyche, whom he believes is one of the finest bosses in the country.

"Everything's going in the right direction here - the facilities that are being built at the minute, it's a Premier League club and he's one of the best young managers," Duff said.

"He's got old school values with modern methods. It's important that you're respectful and polite but he also has modern methods with his coaching and how he analyses games.

"There's the psychological aspect of it as well. He encapsulates everything. A lot of how he thinks and the way he sees things is the same that I do. He gets that across to the players and they totally buy in to the way he wants to play."

Dyche has been with Burnley for nearly four years and recently signed a new contract before guiding the club to an immediate top-flight return.

While a number of big clubs still have vacancies open - including Newcastle, Aston Villa, Everton and Watford, who sacked Dyche before he came to Turf Moor - Duff thinks hanging on to the boss remains paramount for Burnley this summer.

"It's important," Duff added. "I think I echo everyone at the club and the town when I say that. He's just signed a new deal. That's the most important signing."

Another key signature is that of the club's player of the year Joey Barton after the midfielder's one-year deal expired following the title-winning campaign.

The 33-year-old has been offered terms by Burnley, yet spent the weekend visiting at Scottish club Rangers and their offer of a three-year contract may tempt Barton north of the border.

"It's completely up to him," Duff noted.

"He's out of contract so he is entitled to speak to who he wants. It will be good if he stays because of his personality in the dressing room and influence on the pitch.

"If he stays, it's great; if he doesn't, you move onto pastures new, footballers come and go.

"He's been influential, on and off the pitch. The club have offered him a contract, they've made it clear they want him to stay, but it's up to Joey."

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