Sean Dyche says Burnley ‘in reasonable shape’ for Premier League run-in

Ian Parker, PA
·3-min read

Sean Dyche is confident his Burnley side are performing at the level needed to stave off the threat of relegation as they go into the final 10 games of the season.

Burnley’s cushion over the bottom three shrank to four points with Fulham’s victory at Liverpool on Sunday, keeping the pressure on as the Clarets prepare to go to Everton on Saturday.

Since wins over Liverpool and Aston Villa in late January, Burnley have won only one of their last nine in the league, instead picking up points from a series of draws.

Converting those into wins is no easy task but Dyche believes things are going in the right direction.

“We often talk of a couple of wins as if it’s an easy task,” Dyche said. “For teams in the bottom half of the table, a couple of wins is vital. It’s not an easy task but I think we’re in reasonable shape.

“We’ve done a lot of good work after a tough start, the performance levels have improved and the consistency of the performances. We’ve got to keep that going.

“We’re certainly looking for more but equally on the balance of the season, the lads have certainly put in a shift. We’ve got to continue to do that with the games coming up.”

Burnley moved on to 30 points with last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal, a fourth draw from five in the league since the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace in mid-February.

Asked if he would prefer to earn three points through three draws or one win and two defeats, Dyche said context was key.

“You want the winning edge, but equally you’ve got to look at the game schedule and who you are playing,” he said.

“In our last 10 games we’ve had two wins but you look at who we’ve played – we’ve played Chelsea away, Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester, it’s been a pretty tough run. They’re all tough by the way but there are certain teams who are tougher to play than others.

“On balance with the run we’ve had and the injuries – as managers we’re all greedy and we all want more and we all push for more with our staff and our players – but there is a balanced view with the challenges we’ve got and generally ours has been very good.

“The work ethic has been right, some of the detail hasn’t always gone right but there’s certainly a foundation there and a belief in what we do.”

Burnley’s injury problems have begun to ease, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady returning against Arsenal at the weekend, though Charlie Taylor came off with a hamstring problem.

Dyche said Taylor would miss the trip to Goodison Park along with Ashley Barnes, while Jack Cork is also a doubt.

They will face an Everton side guilty of several notable lapses this season – most recently the home defeat to Fulham last month – but still in with a chance of forcing their way into the top four under Carlo Ancelotti.

“If you look at the players they’ve got they’re a good outfit and the manager has added to that quite obviously,” Dyche said. “He’s an incredibly experienced manager and he seems to be getting his way through to the players.

“I don’t think anyone has ever questioned Everton on their talent and how they put a team together. They’ve had a couple of blips but teams often do. They’re still a good outfit.

“I think nothing other than it will be a tough ask going to Everton but we’re used to going to these places so we’ll take it on.”