Sean Dyche believes Burnley’s recent results are nothing less than his players deserve for their never-say-die attitude.
The Clarets have climbed away from trouble at the bottom end of the table with five league wins in nine – including victories over Liverpool, Arsenal, and Wolves – while advancing to the fifth round of the FA Cup, a run that has them firmly in the top half of a form table since Boxing Day.
Dyche’s side have not been beaten by more than the odd goal since going down 5-0 to Manchester City in November, and scored twice in the space of five minutes late on Wednesday night to come from behind and beat Villa 3-2, having twice trailed on the night at Turf Moor.
“It’s a relentlessness,” Dyche said. “A relentless attitude towards performances. I’ve played in enough games in my life to know things can turn around in a game and we instilled that in the group a long time ago, our first promotion season we had that and in all our seasons.
“You can pick out moments where the team keeps going and the more that happens, the more the belief grows…
“We as the staff can only guide these beliefs. The players deserve huge credit for the mentality of our performances.”
Burnley have won three games in a row going into Sunday’s clash with Chelsea – three very different wins as they withstood a Liverpool barrage before snatching a 1-0 win at Anfield, cruised to a 3-0 FA Cup win over Fulham, and then twice rallied for victory over Villa.
“It’s just a reminder to our group that we want to be effective,” Dyche said. “I’ve never been a zealot to any brand of football. I want to be effective, I want to win and to play in a way that can win.
“We have to find different ways because we’re Burnley Football Club. We’re not a super club that can spend £500million on players. We are what we are and we’ve always been proud of that.”
They will be up against one of those super clubs at Stamford Bridge this weekend, but it is unclear which style might be most effective against a Chelsea side needing to find a new identity under Thomas Tuchel, who replaced Frank Lampard as manager on Tuesday.
“The fact is they’ve got good players,” Dyche said. “Personally I don’t think they were a million miles away with what they were doing under Frank. Now another good manager goes in, very good, very experienced, and he’s got to mould them how he wants.
“But they’ve got very good players so is there ever a good time to play them? Just because they’re having a quiet spell, I don’t think it guarantees anything. They can still turn up in any given moment.
“The players are not stupid. They know they’ve got very good players so we’re going to have to deliver as hard as ever to get a result.”