Saturday 24 February 2018

Dyche taking pressure in his stride

Sean Dyche is trying to keep the pressures of the relegation battle in perspective
Sean Dyche is trying to keep the pressures of the relegation battle in perspective

Burnley boss Sean Dyche admits the pressure is on his relegation-threatened side - but will not let matters get out of perspective.

Dyche's battling Clarets have slipped to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League despite some spirited and praiseworthy performances in the second half of the season.

The Turf Moor side now have just five games remaining to escape the drop, starting with Saturday's crunch match against fellow strugglers Leicester.

The pressure is considerable and Dyche knows his side desperately need results, but he maintains it is bearable.

He said: "I am used to it (pressure). It is there for all to know about, but I try to know where it lives in life.

"It is football. I disagree with Bill Shankly. It is not more important than life or death, in my opinion. It is very important in my life, very important in the players' lives, very important in supporters' lives.

"But people have different things that go on their lives that overshadow football matches."

With that in mind, Dyche has refused to talk up the significance of this weekend's encounter at Turf Moor.

Leicester, who had looked doomed a few weeks ago, have hit a purple patch and climbed off the bottom with three successive wins.

Victory on Saturday would lift them five points clear of Dyche's men and possibly take them out of the bottom three.

Yet while there could be much at stake, Dyche insists he is treating the match no different from any other.

"It is as big as the last one, as big as the next one," said Dyche, whose side have scored just once in seven games.

"It is quite simply three points - that is what we want. I mean that wholeheartedly. It has more effect because of the position in the league and the amount of games left, of course, but the reality is every game is a tough game for us."

Burnley have earned plenty of plaudits for their performances but Dyche badly needs them to start firing again in front of goal as the games run out.

He said: "You have got to score more goals - that bit is not rocket science.

"If we weren't creating chances then you are scratching your head, wondering whether we have a problem.

"But we have been creating, so therefore the belief is you take them at some point - but we have got to take them sooner rather than later."

Midfielder Matty Taylor, who joined Dyche at his pre-match press conference, insisted the team were not lacking in belief.

Asked what was required, the 33-year-old said: "Character, belief, desire and a will to win - and we have got that in spades here.

"We understand we are in a precarious position but, to be brutally honest, nobody gave us a chance this season. We are in a much better position than people - externally - believed we would be.

"We have got an opportunity with five games remaining to win as many as we can and maintain our Premier League status. If we do that it will have been a good season."

Press Association

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