Thursday 16 August 2018

Conte: Dyche has it easier than managers of the leading clubs


Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Ian Winrow

Antonio Conte believes Sean Dyche has an easier job at Burnley compared to those managers competing at the top end of the table and backed by bigger transfer budgets.

Dyche has earned widespread praise for his success in steering Burnley to seventh place - they could move ahead of Arsenal into sixth if they beat Conte's Chelsea at Turf Moor this evening - putting them in sight of qualification for next season's Europa League. The Lancashire club's success has been unexpected and achieved on a budget a fraction of that of Chelsea and the other leading clubs.

However, Conte maintains Dyche is working in a very different environment to the managers in charge of the established top six who, he claims, operate to a much broader definition of failure.

“I think he is doing an important job,” said Conte, whose side lie fifth and face a daunting task if they are to qualify for next season’s Champions League. “He is doing a great job this season. But if you start the ¬season to fight to avoid the relegation zone it is more simple. It is more simple also if you have a small budget because you can count on a team that in the past reached qualification to play again in the league.

“It is more difficult when you have to prepare the transfer market to win something because only one team wins. The others must see the other team win.”

Expanding on why he believes Dyche has it easier, the Italian added: “It is more simple because you have to avoid the last three places at the bottom and then you can stay between 10 teams. You can play only for this target.

“Then, if you have a good base and in the previous season played very well, you can count on this. You have to fight only to avoid this.

“It is difficult if you have to play to win because only one team wins and if the other doesn’t win you are the first to speak about a failed season. If you don’t win the FA Cup, the league, the Carabao Cup, the season is a failure and, for this reason, it is more difficult to play for this target.”

Not that Conte would like to swap places. The Italian experienced relegation from Serie B in his first job, and said: “In my life, my career I fought to avoid the relegation zone. I didn’t start with  – Juventus, I started with Arezzo, (at) the bottom.”

Burnley face Conte’s side on the back of five successive victories and will be hoping to repeat their opening-day success at Stamford Bridge, when they secured a 3-2 victory against the recently crowned champions, having been 3-0 up at half-time.

“It was definitely one I hadn’t planned on,” Dyche said, going on to explain his half-time team talk. “We had a little meeting with the staff and they said, ‘What do you think?’ I said: ‘I don’t know. What do you want me to tell them? They’re 3-0 up at Chelsea’. Then we just waffled on and kept our fingers crossed and we managed to get that one over the line.

“Everyone waits for their first win. It doesn’t guarantee anything but it changes the immediate feel of the season. We’ve not looked back.” (© Independent News Service)

Burnley v Chelsea

Live, Sky Sports, 7.45

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport