Sean Dyche says league remains Burnley priority ahead of Bournemouth FA Cup tie

David Charlesworth, PA
·2-min read

Sean Dyche wants to progress further in this season’s FA Cup but the Burnley manager insists the “real goal” is maintaining the club’s place in the Premier League.

Dyche has unapologetically prioritised Burnley’s league fortunes over anything else during his tenure, but they have a chance to reach their first FA Cup quarter-final in 18 years when they welcome Bournemouth on Tuesday night.

While he recognises the significance of the competition, Dyche pointed out he faces a delicate balancing act with top-flight games coming thick and fast and several first-team players struggling with niggles.

“Fans, players and everyone still want to do well in the FA Cup to try to win it and every team goes out with that intention, I’m sure of that,” he said.

“But it’s just a common sense moment when you go ‘what is the real goal?’ For Burnley, as a club and not just for me, then it is to be in the Premier League because it can continue the growth the club has had and to move forward.

“The kudos for a town like Burnley to have a Premier League club is very, very important.

“You want to do well in the cups and we still want to win a game like we did (in the last round) at Fulham, but you’ve got to balance that with the reality of the bigger challenge. It’s not always easy.”

Charlie Taylor, Josh Brownhill, Robbie Brady and Chris Wood are once again likely to miss out, while Jack Cork suffered a knock in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Brighton which kept Burnley eight points clear of the drop zone.

They turn their attentions to a Bournemouth side who sit sixth in the Championship despite a recent losing run that led to Jason Tindall’s sacking after six months at the helm, with Jonathan Woodgate placed in temporary charge.

The former Newcastle, Real Madrid and England defender has invited veteran manager Harry Redknapp to attend training, which Dyche believes is a shrewd move.

“Harry’s a legendary figure around the game, a real character and he’s been terrific with me in the past,” Dyche said.

“Down the years he’s always spoken well of me. It’s always been great to see him after games, I’ve picked his brain a couple of times.

“You build up a common bond with some of these managers and he’s someone I’ve always held in high regard; I still do.

“Now and again we get the chance to talk or bump into each other. If he is helping out there as suggested then why wouldn’t he with his experience?”