Burnley manager Sean Dyche hails Jonathan Hogg for helping to save his career
Burnley boss Sean Dyche is looking forward to a Premier League reunion with Jonathan Hogg, admitting the Huddersfield midfielder helped save his managerial career at Watford.
Back in the summer of 2011 Dyche was taking his first steps as a number one at Vicarage Road and signed Hogg, who was looking for regular football after coming through the ranks at Aston Villa.
Things started slowly and Dyche's coaching credentials may have been come under question had the Hornets' fortunes not picked up dramatically, something he gives Hogg plenty of credit for.
On Saturday the pair will be on opposite sides at Turf Moor, but there is no forgetting the time they spent together fighting for recognition in the Championship.
"I love Hoggy, without some of his performances, I might not have still been in a job," said Dyche.
"There were a few players there who absolutely stood up to the challenge back then, we lost seven of the first 13 and he played a big part in making sure we turned everything round and only lost seven of the next 33.
"I've a lot of time for him as a lad, and he was tremendous for me, I'm delighted he's gone on and done well for himself.
"Now and again me and Woany (assistant Ian Woan) get a text from him, he's a real good lad."
Burnley are among the Premier League's more careful spenders but, in a market inflated by a bumper broadcast deal, were still able to splash £15million on striker Chris Woods on transfer deadline day.
Dyche was operating in a different world when he decided to swoop for Hogg, a deal that has ultimately worked out for both men.
"At the time it was a big signing for us. It looks mad now, it was £300,000 or something," said Dyche.
"We brought in £5-odd million and spent about £900,000 and he was a big chunk of that.
"But he did very well for us, a really good signing, really solid lad and a good pro."