Burnley decision to stick with me vindicated - Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche believes Burnley's board have been vindicated with their decision to stick by him now that their Premier League survival has essentially been confirmed.
A 2-2 home draw with West Brom on Saturday moved the Clarets to the fabled 40-point mark and left a six-point cushion to the relegation zone with just two games remaining.
Given Dyche's men also possess a -14 goal difference compared to 18th-placed Hull's -33, they can surely be safe in the knowledge they will be a top-flight team next season and have staved off instant Premier League relegation for the first time.
They were unable to avoid the drop during their previous two Premier League campaigns, the most recent of which was in 2014-15, but Dyche stayed on at Turf Moor then and the Football League's seventh longest-serving manager has since bounced back and strengthened his club both on and off the field.
"Over the four and a half years that I've been here we've always had something to fight for and that's a great achievement in itself for my staff and players," Dyche said in quotes published on Burnley's official website.
"The board have stood by me as well, when we've had a few knocks along the way, and I think it's paid them back as well, for the way we have all been aligned with our thinking for what Burnley Football Club stands for."
The directors at Turf Moor are not the only fans of Dyche, with his Baggies counterpart Tony Pulis this week suggesting he would be in his top three Premier League managers of the season.
The mutual admiration remained after the points were shared on Saturday when Sam Vokes' brace for Burnley came either side of efforts from Salomon Rondon and Craig Dawson, who scored West Brom's first goals in almost nine hours.
A meeting between the two clubs came during a week where analytics group CIES Football Observatory published research that had West Brom as the division's most overachieving team - based on a correlation between their points total and the transfer expenditure on this season's squad - while Burnley ranked third.
"Everybody knows that the bigger clubs have got an enormous amount of money, b ut there's a lot of clubs in the Premier League who overachieve year after year and don't get the credit they deserve," Pulis said.
"Burnley certainly are one of those. Sean did it last year by getting promoted again, that's no easy task. To be where they are now, it's absolutely fantastic."