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Monday 23 September 2019

Burnley boss Sean Dyche plays down Leicester talk

Sean Dyche is the third-longest serving current Premier League manager
Sean Dyche is the third-longest serving current Premier League manager

Burnley boss Sean Dyche said speculation linking him with the Leicester vacancy was "a paper story" and that no approach had been made to his club.

Dyche, 46, the third-longest serving current Premier League manager, has emerged as the bookmakers' favourite to replace Craig Shakespeare, who was sacked by the 2016 champions on Tuesday.

"First of all, I don't want any manager to lose their job. It's not the first time I've been linked," Dyche told a press conference before Saturday's trip to Manchester City.

"In a way, you're flattered because it's some form of recognition. But it's a paper story.

"I'm not aware of any approach from anyone in any time here. There's n othing in my consideration other than Man City on Saturday."

Dyche, a reported target for numerous clubs this season, including Crystal Palace and Everton, did not categorically rule himself out of the running.

The former Watford boss is approaching his fifth anniversary at Turf Moor and has commuted throughout his time in charge from his family home in Northampton.

He said Clarets fans had grown accustomed to his name being touted every time a managerial vacancy surfaces.

"I don't think they're getting fed-up of it. It's happened with me on a number of occasions," he said.

"I don't know that they're not fed-up with it, I don't know that they are. I just think they know it's the lay of the land. That's the way it goes.

"All your jobs is to get a story from somewhere, wherever that story comes from and I've no problem with it whatsoever."

Dyche has twice won promotion to the top flight with Burnley and after last season's struggles has guided them to seventh place in the table after eight games.

Even more impressively, the Clarets are unbeaten on the road this season, registering eye-catching wins at Chelsea and Everton, while drawing at both Tottenham and Liverpool.

Dyche agreed his side faces their toughest test yet on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium, where Pep Guardiola's side have scored 17 goals in their last three league matches.

"I think on current form from their point of view, it's certainly up there. They're in fine form," Dyche, who is expected to select from an unchanged squad, added.

"I think we all know, arguably they're one of the best collection of individual footballers in Europe.

"The team looks more familiar with each other and that comes with time. The manager, rightly so, has been stood by and allowed to work.

"A lot was made last year of them being 15 points off the top. But collectively they're a very strong group with a very strong manager, with his know-how of the top players. It's appropriate that they let him get on with his work."

PA Media

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