Millwall

Millwall slideshow

Millwall hand Steve Cotterill first defeat as Birmingham boss

Millwall hand Steve Cotterill first defeat as Birmingham boss

Millwall hand Steve Cotterill first defeat as Birmingham boss

Millwall vs Birmingham City: Fans clash with police at London Bridge in 'disgusting' scenes

Millwall vs Birmingham City: Fans clash with police at London Bridge in 'disgusting' scenes

Millwall vs Birmingham City: Fans clash with police at London Bridge in 'disgusting' scenes

Millwall vs Birmingham City: Fans clash with police at London Bridge in 'disgusting' scenes

Exclusive - Sean Dyche: 'We don't do blind faith, we do authentic optimism' 

Sean Dyche is explaining the nature of “positive realities”, the phrase he uses for being honest with his players about the challenge they face at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday against a Manchester City team that are not just top of the Premier League but playing like they very much intend to stay there. The Burnley manager has not built the career he has now from being unrealistic about his teams’ capabilities and in his third season as a Premier League manager, it is impossible to ignore how far he has come. After Craig Shakespeare’s sacking at Leicester City this week we are down to four permanent English top-flight managers, and top of them all is Dyche with a side that has lost just once in the league this season and begin the day in seventh place. Pep Guardiola’s team currently look like they could dismantle most sides in Europe and yet, as the City manager will know from the narrow margins of victory over Burnley last season, Dyche is quite capable of finding ways to compete. The 46-year-old shakes his head at the suggestion that this game represents a free hit for his club. “Don’t think we just do five-a-sides all week and say ‘Oh well, roll out and hope for the best’. We want to do our job, and deliver a performance. That’s important.” As that rare thing, an English manager in the Premier League, Dyche’s career has been one in which he has had to survive first and learn fast, through two promotions and one relegation with Burnley.  Ten years ago last summer a casual chat with Aidy Boothroyd on a bench at the Watford training ground persuaded the latter to appoint Dyche as the Under-18s coach. Ironic, really, Dyche reflects - Boothroyd had not wanted him as a player but was big enough to see his qualities as a coach. So began the journey that led to Burnley, where he will pass his fifth anniversary as manager next week, after the meeting with Guardiola. Last year they bumped into each other after the game at Turf Moor, a 2-1 win for the away side, and Guardiola told Dyche how his team had been unable to “dominate” Burnley. The City manager acknowledged he had faced a team who were well-drilled and knew their jobs to the last detail. Dyche is not a man who requires a pat on the head but this compliment, from one coach to the next, resonated with him. Dyche still talks to his old Chesterfield manager John Duncan, a man it took him a year to grasp Credit: PAUL COOPER for the Telegraph “We don’t do blind faith, we do authentic optimism,” he says. “There’s no point saying, ‘City are not all that’, because they are. We don’t do nonsense. We tell the players the truth. ‘This is a very good side with good individuals, a good structure, they are tighter than they were out of possession and more open in possession. Now what are we going to do?’ “Positive realities. What are the things we can do to take on the challenge? There’s no ‘Come on lads! Let’s do it! And if we think positively we will win!’ It just doesn’t work like that. There has to be more to it. The teams that you come across, they are not physically super-human, they are just very good. So it is asking what do we about that. How do we take on the challenge?” The solutions that Dyche has found to the issue of keeping Burnley competitive in the top-flight have looked increasingly attractive to others. He has been installed as the bookies’ favourite for the King Power job and the prejudices some might have held about a former lower league defender with a cement-mixer voice are gradually evaporating with Burnley’s relative success on a shoestring budget. Dyche, who first took Burnley up in 2014, has spent five productive years at Turf Moor Credit: Action Images / Paul Currie Dyche is aware of what he calls the “myths” around him, and he mentions them often. That he keeps the same players – “only six of the 22 from when I started are still here, so something’s changed!” That he does not like signing foreign players – “A good player is a good player, it’s just that we cannot afford signings that do not work”. That he is a 4-4-2 man – “we adjust and flex it”. And you can see quickly why players do stay: Dyche considers their development the most rewarding part of his job. He comes from Kettering, where his father Alan was a consultant in the steel industry and his mother Patsy stitched the bench-made shoes for which Northamptonshire is famous. Guardiola may have the hoodies, and the skinny jeans, but no manager knows real shoes like Dyche. He reels off the names, Cheaney, Church’s, John Lobb, Jeffery West. His mother stitched the early Dunlop boots worn by Trevor Brooking and Dyche is also a 1980s football boot connoisseur, a man who knows his Adidas Profi from his Stratos SL but is adamant that nothing beats a pair of World Cups. He recalls calling home from a tour in France with Nottingham Forest’s youth team when he complained to his father that a favourite of the coach was being picked ahead of him. “My dad was like ‘Stop that. You work hard, son, that’s how you move forward. Don’t make excuses. Get your head down and work hard’. Brilliant advice. Not getting in the way, not going to see the coach. But times have changed and you have to change with them.” Dyche, a Northants native, is a connoisseur of classic boots Credit:  PAUL COOPER FOR THE TELEGRAPH Dyche will admit that his roots are in a lost world of English football, around the fringes of Brian Clough’s last Forest team but never part of it, and then a hard-won career in the lower-leagues with the likes of Chesterfield, Millwall and Northampton. But you do not get to seventh in the Premier League in this brutal era of hire-and-fire without his keen intelligence and a natural curiosity about the game. Dyche has a thousand ideas and as many stories, and he recalls a tough time at Bristol City when he played under the Swedish coach Benny Lennartsson. “All the players were like, ‘He’s rubbish’. I thought: ‘You lot have lost your mind. He’s ahead of the curve.’ It was everywhere: tactically, his understanding of details, changing training, the professionalism - a massive shift. You could just smell it on him. He was a talker not a shouter and it was when football was just turning.” No manager who keeps a club with finances as modest as they are at Burnley buoyant in the Premier League will be expected to stay forever, so the question is how Dyche sees his career. Without Boothroyd’s faith, and then Malky Mackay’s insistence that Dyche be appointed his assistant at Watford in 2009, when the club wanted an older man, he admits he could have stayed much longer in youth development. The next fork in the road could be even more significant. “You need doors to open, you need a chance – and you have got to have something, to take your chance when the door opens at the right time. My first port of call was to be a manager, then it was a successful manager, then it was a Premier League manager. Then, can I stay in the Premier League? What opens next? I am at A and going all the way to Z is high unlikely in any career, let alone football. You have to weave your way like the river, pick up your skills and keep going. “Some jobs you look at and think: ‘That’s nearly impossible to turn round.’ But what are your circumstances? If you are in a job and another becomes available and you can’t see a way of that moving forward, then you have a choice. If you are out of work and a job becomes available you might think: ‘I have to take it because jobs are so scarce.'” He still speaks to his old Chesterfield manager John Duncan who plotted that miracle run to the 1997 FA Cup semi-final in which Dyche scored a penalty against Middlesbrough. He says that for the first year the pair did not get on - Dyche simply could not see what his manager was trying to do. When at last it became clear he “marvelled” – his word – at how Duncan had spotted the team’s hitherto hidden potential. Another useful lesson picked up along the way and one more reason to approach Saturday without fear.

Exclusive - Sean Dyche: 'We don't do blind faith, we do authentic optimism' 

Sean Dyche is explaining the nature of “positive realities”, the phrase he uses for being honest with his players about the challenge they face at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday against a Manchester City team that are not just top of the Premier League but playing like they very much intend to stay there. The Burnley manager has not built the career he has now from being unrealistic about his teams’ capabilities and in his third season as a Premier League manager, it is impossible to ignore how far he has come. After Craig Shakespeare’s sacking at Leicester City this week we are down to four permanent English top-flight managers, and top of them all is Dyche with a side that has lost just once in the league this season and begin the day in seventh place. Pep Guardiola’s team currently look like they could dismantle most sides in Europe and yet, as the City manager will know from the narrow margins of victory over Burnley last season, Dyche is quite capable of finding ways to compete. The 46-year-old shakes his head at the suggestion that this game represents a free hit for his club. “Don’t think we just do five-a-sides all week and say ‘Oh well, roll out and hope for the best’. We want to do our job, and deliver a performance. That’s important.” As that rare thing, an English manager in the Premier League, Dyche’s career has been one in which he has had to survive first and learn fast, through two promotions and one relegation with Burnley.  Ten years ago last summer a casual chat with Aidy Boothroyd on a bench at the Watford training ground persuaded the latter to appoint Dyche as the Under-18s coach. Ironic, really, Dyche reflects - Boothroyd had not wanted him as a player but was big enough to see his qualities as a coach. So began the journey that led to Burnley, where he will pass his fifth anniversary as manager next week, after the meeting with Guardiola. Last year they bumped into each other after the game at Turf Moor, a 2-1 win for the away side, and Guardiola told Dyche how his team had been unable to “dominate” Burnley. The City manager acknowledged he had faced a team who were well-drilled and knew their jobs to the last detail. Dyche is not a man who requires a pat on the head but this compliment, from one coach to the next, resonated with him. Dyche still talks to his old Chesterfield manager John Duncan, a man it took him a year to grasp Credit: PAUL COOPER for the Telegraph “We don’t do blind faith, we do authentic optimism,” he says. “There’s no point saying, ‘City are not all that’, because they are. We don’t do nonsense. We tell the players the truth. ‘This is a very good side with good individuals, a good structure, they are tighter than they were out of possession and more open in possession. Now what are we going to do?’ “Positive realities. What are the things we can do to take on the challenge? There’s no ‘Come on lads! Let’s do it! And if we think positively we will win!’ It just doesn’t work like that. There has to be more to it. The teams that you come across, they are not physically super-human, they are just very good. So it is asking what do we about that. How do we take on the challenge?” The solutions that Dyche has found to the issue of keeping Burnley competitive in the top-flight have looked increasingly attractive to others. He has been installed as the bookies’ favourite for the King Power job and the prejudices some might have held about a former lower league defender with a cement-mixer voice are gradually evaporating with Burnley’s relative success on a shoestring budget. Dyche, who first took Burnley up in 2014, has spent five productive years at Turf Moor Credit: Action Images / Paul Currie Dyche is aware of what he calls the “myths” around him, and he mentions them often. That he keeps the same players – “only six of the 22 from when I started are still here, so something’s changed!” That he does not like signing foreign players – “A good player is a good player, it’s just that we cannot afford signings that do not work”. That he is a 4-4-2 man – “we adjust and flex it”. And you can see quickly why players do stay: Dyche considers their development the most rewarding part of his job. He comes from Kettering, where his father Alan was a consultant in the steel industry and his mother Patsy stitched the bench-made shoes for which Northamptonshire is famous. Guardiola may have the hoodies, and the skinny jeans, but no manager knows real shoes like Dyche. He reels off the names, Cheaney, Church’s, John Lobb, Jeffery West. His mother stitched the early Dunlop boots worn by Trevor Brooking and Dyche is also a 1980s football boot connoisseur, a man who knows his Adidas Profi from his Stratos SL but is adamant that nothing beats a pair of World Cups. He recalls calling home from a tour in France with Nottingham Forest’s youth team when he complained to his father that a favourite of the coach was being picked ahead of him. “My dad was like ‘Stop that. You work hard, son, that’s how you move forward. Don’t make excuses. Get your head down and work hard’. Brilliant advice. Not getting in the way, not going to see the coach. But times have changed and you have to change with them.” Dyche, a Northants native, is a connoisseur of classic boots Credit:  PAUL COOPER FOR THE TELEGRAPH Dyche will admit that his roots are in a lost world of English football, around the fringes of Brian Clough’s last Forest team but never part of it, and then a hard-won career in the lower-leagues with the likes of Chesterfield, Millwall and Northampton. But you do not get to seventh in the Premier League in this brutal era of hire-and-fire without his keen intelligence and a natural curiosity about the game. Dyche has a thousand ideas and as many stories, and he recalls a tough time at Bristol City when he played under the Swedish coach Benny Lennartsson. “All the players were like, ‘He’s rubbish’. I thought: ‘You lot have lost your mind. He’s ahead of the curve.’ It was everywhere: tactically, his understanding of details, changing training, the professionalism - a massive shift. You could just smell it on him. He was a talker not a shouter and it was when football was just turning.” No manager who keeps a club with finances as modest as they are at Burnley buoyant in the Premier League will be expected to stay forever, so the question is how Dyche sees his career. Without Boothroyd’s faith, and then Malky Mackay’s insistence that Dyche be appointed his assistant at Watford in 2009, when the club wanted an older man, he admits he could have stayed much longer in youth development. The next fork in the road could be even more significant. “You need doors to open, you need a chance – and you have got to have something, to take your chance when the door opens at the right time. My first port of call was to be a manager, then it was a successful manager, then it was a Premier League manager. Then, can I stay in the Premier League? What opens next? I am at A and going all the way to Z is high unlikely in any career, let alone football. You have to weave your way like the river, pick up your skills and keep going. “Some jobs you look at and think: ‘That’s nearly impossible to turn round.’ But what are your circumstances? If you are in a job and another becomes available and you can’t see a way of that moving forward, then you have a choice. If you are out of work and a job becomes available you might think: ‘I have to take it because jobs are so scarce.'” He still speaks to his old Chesterfield manager John Duncan who plotted that miracle run to the 1997 FA Cup semi-final in which Dyche scored a penalty against Middlesbrough. He says that for the first year the pair did not get on - Dyche simply could not see what his manager was trying to do. When at last it became clear he “marvelled” – his word – at how Duncan had spotted the team’s hitherto hidden potential. Another useful lesson picked up along the way and one more reason to approach Saturday without fear.

Exclusive - Sean Dyche: 'We don't do blind faith, we do authentic optimism' 

Sean Dyche is explaining the nature of “positive realities”, the phrase he uses for being honest with his players about the challenge they face at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday against a Manchester City team that are not just top of the Premier League but playing like they very much intend to stay there. The Burnley manager has not built the career he has now from being unrealistic about his teams’ capabilities and in his third season as a Premier League manager, it is impossible to ignore how far he has come. After Craig Shakespeare’s sacking at Leicester City this week we are down to four permanent English top-flight managers, and top of them all is Dyche with a side that has lost just once in the league this season and begin the day in seventh place. Pep Guardiola’s team currently look like they could dismantle most sides in Europe and yet, as the City manager will know from the narrow margins of victory over Burnley last season, Dyche is quite capable of finding ways to compete. The 46-year-old shakes his head at the suggestion that this game represents a free hit for his club. “Don’t think we just do five-a-sides all week and say ‘Oh well, roll out and hope for the best’. We want to do our job, and deliver a performance. That’s important.” As that rare thing, an English manager in the Premier League, Dyche’s career has been one in which he has had to survive first and learn fast, through two promotions and one relegation with Burnley.  Ten years ago last summer a casual chat with Aidy Boothroyd on a bench at the Watford training ground persuaded the latter to appoint Dyche as the Under-18s coach. Ironic, really, Dyche reflects - Boothroyd had not wanted him as a player but was big enough to see his qualities as a coach. So began the journey that led to Burnley, where he will pass his fifth anniversary as manager next week, after the meeting with Guardiola. Last year they bumped into each other after the game at Turf Moor, a 2-1 win for the away side, and Guardiola told Dyche how his team had been unable to “dominate” Burnley. The City manager acknowledged he had faced a team who were well-drilled and knew their jobs to the last detail. Dyche is not a man who requires a pat on the head but this compliment, from one coach to the next, resonated with him. Dyche still talks to his old Chesterfield manager John Duncan, a man it took him a year to grasp Credit: PAUL COOPER for the Telegraph “We don’t do blind faith, we do authentic optimism,” he says. “There’s no point saying, ‘City are not all that’, because they are. We don’t do nonsense. We tell the players the truth. ‘This is a very good side with good individuals, a good structure, they are tighter than they were out of possession and more open in possession. Now what are we going to do?’ “Positive realities. What are the things we can do to take on the challenge? There’s no ‘Come on lads! Let’s do it! And if we think positively we will win!’ It just doesn’t work like that. There has to be more to it. The teams that you come across, they are not physically super-human, they are just very good. So it is asking what do we about that. How do we take on the challenge?” The solutions that Dyche has found to the issue of keeping Burnley competitive in the top-flight have looked increasingly attractive to others. He has been installed as the bookies’ favourite for the King Power job and the prejudices some might have held about a former lower league defender with a cement-mixer voice are gradually evaporating with Burnley’s relative success on a shoestring budget. Dyche, who first took Burnley up in 2014, has spent five productive years at Turf Moor Credit: Action Images / Paul Currie Dyche is aware of what he calls the “myths” around him, and he mentions them often. That he keeps the same players – “only six of the 22 from when I started are still here, so something’s changed!” That he does not like signing foreign players – “A good player is a good player, it’s just that we cannot afford signings that do not work”. That he is a 4-4-2 man – “we adjust and flex it”. And you can see quickly why players do stay: Dyche considers their development the most rewarding part of his job. He comes from Kettering, where his father Alan was a consultant in the steel industry and his mother Patsy stitched the bench-made shoes for which Northamptonshire is famous. Guardiola may have the hoodies, and the skinny jeans, but no manager knows real shoes like Dyche. He reels off the names, Cheaney, Church’s, John Lobb, Jeffery West. His mother stitched the early Dunlop boots worn by Trevor Brooking and Dyche is also a 1980s football boot connoisseur, a man who knows his Adidas Profi from his Stratos SL but is adamant that nothing beats a pair of World Cups. He recalls calling home from a tour in France with Nottingham Forest’s youth team when he complained to his father that a favourite of the coach was being picked ahead of him. “My dad was like ‘Stop that. You work hard, son, that’s how you move forward. Don’t make excuses. Get your head down and work hard’. Brilliant advice. Not getting in the way, not going to see the coach. But times have changed and you have to change with them.” Dyche, a Northants native, is a connoisseur of classic boots Credit:  PAUL COOPER FOR THE TELEGRAPH Dyche will admit that his roots are in a lost world of English football, around the fringes of Brian Clough’s last Forest team but never part of it, and then a hard-won career in the lower-leagues with the likes of Chesterfield, Millwall and Northampton. But you do not get to seventh in the Premier League in this brutal era of hire-and-fire without his keen intelligence and a natural curiosity about the game. Dyche has a thousand ideas and as many stories, and he recalls a tough time at Bristol City when he played under the Swedish coach Benny Lennartsson. “All the players were like, ‘He’s rubbish’. I thought: ‘You lot have lost your mind. He’s ahead of the curve.’ It was everywhere: tactically, his understanding of details, changing training, the professionalism - a massive shift. You could just smell it on him. He was a talker not a shouter and it was when football was just turning.” No manager who keeps a club with finances as modest as they are at Burnley buoyant in the Premier League will be expected to stay forever, so the question is how Dyche sees his career. Without Boothroyd’s faith, and then Malky Mackay’s insistence that Dyche be appointed his assistant at Watford in 2009, when the club wanted an older man, he admits he could have stayed much longer in youth development. The next fork in the road could be even more significant. “You need doors to open, you need a chance – and you have got to have something, to take your chance when the door opens at the right time. My first port of call was to be a manager, then it was a successful manager, then it was a Premier League manager. Then, can I stay in the Premier League? What opens next? I am at A and going all the way to Z is high unlikely in any career, let alone football. You have to weave your way like the river, pick up your skills and keep going. “Some jobs you look at and think: ‘That’s nearly impossible to turn round.’ But what are your circumstances? If you are in a job and another becomes available and you can’t see a way of that moving forward, then you have a choice. If you are out of work and a job becomes available you might think: ‘I have to take it because jobs are so scarce.'” He still speaks to his old Chesterfield manager John Duncan who plotted that miracle run to the 1997 FA Cup semi-final in which Dyche scored a penalty against Middlesbrough. He says that for the first year the pair did not get on - Dyche simply could not see what his manager was trying to do. When at last it became clear he “marvelled” – his word – at how Duncan had spotted the team’s hitherto hidden potential. Another useful lesson picked up along the way and one more reason to approach Saturday without fear.

Exclusive - Sean Dyche: 'We don't do blind faith, we do authentic optimism' 

Sean Dyche is explaining the nature of “positive realities”, the phrase he uses for being honest with his players about the challenge they face at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday against a Manchester City team that are not just top of the Premier League but playing like they very much intend to stay there. The Burnley manager has not built the career he has now from being unrealistic about his teams’ capabilities and in his third season as a Premier League manager, it is impossible to ignore how far he has come. After Craig Shakespeare’s sacking at Leicester City this week we are down to four permanent English top-flight managers, and top of them all is Dyche with a side that has lost just once in the league this season and begin the day in seventh place. Pep Guardiola’s team currently look like they could dismantle most sides in Europe and yet, as the City manager will know from the narrow margins of victory over Burnley last season, Dyche is quite capable of finding ways to compete. The 46-year-old shakes his head at the suggestion that this game represents a free hit for his club. “Don’t think we just do five-a-sides all week and say ‘Oh well, roll out and hope for the best’. We want to do our job, and deliver a performance. That’s important.” As that rare thing, an English manager in the Premier League, Dyche’s career has been one in which he has had to survive first and learn fast, through two promotions and one relegation with Burnley.  Ten years ago last summer a casual chat with Aidy Boothroyd on a bench at the Watford training ground persuaded the latter to appoint Dyche as the Under-18s coach. Ironic, really, Dyche reflects - Boothroyd had not wanted him as a player but was big enough to see his qualities as a coach. So began the journey that led to Burnley, where he will pass his fifth anniversary as manager next week, after the meeting with Guardiola. Last year they bumped into each other after the game at Turf Moor, a 2-1 win for the away side, and Guardiola told Dyche how his team had been unable to “dominate” Burnley. The City manager acknowledged he had faced a team who were well-drilled and knew their jobs to the last detail. Dyche is not a man who requires a pat on the head but this compliment, from one coach to the next, resonated with him. Dyche still talks to his old Chesterfield manager John Duncan, a man it took him a year to grasp Credit: PAUL COOPER for the Telegraph “We don’t do blind faith, we do authentic optimism,” he says. “There’s no point saying, ‘City are not all that’, because they are. We don’t do nonsense. We tell the players the truth. ‘This is a very good side with good individuals, a good structure, they are tighter than they were out of possession and more open in possession. Now what are we going to do?’ “Positive realities. What are the things we can do to take on the challenge? There’s no ‘Come on lads! Let’s do it! And if we think positively we will win!’ It just doesn’t work like that. There has to be more to it. The teams that you come across, they are not physically super-human, they are just very good. So it is asking what do we about that. How do we take on the challenge?” The solutions that Dyche has found to the issue of keeping Burnley competitive in the top-flight have looked increasingly attractive to others. He has been installed as the bookies’ favourite for the King Power job and the prejudices some might have held about a former lower league defender with a cement-mixer voice are gradually evaporating with Burnley’s relative success on a shoestring budget. Dyche, who first took Burnley up in 2014, has spent five productive years at Turf Moor Credit: Action Images / Paul Currie Dyche is aware of what he calls the “myths” around him, and he mentions them often. That he keeps the same players – “only six of the 22 from when I started are still here, so something’s changed!” That he does not like signing foreign players – “A good player is a good player, it’s just that we cannot afford signings that do not work”. That he is a 4-4-2 man – “we adjust and flex it”. And you can see quickly why players do stay: Dyche considers their development the most rewarding part of his job. He comes from Kettering, where his father Alan was a consultant in the steel industry and his mother Patsy stitched the bench-made shoes for which Northamptonshire is famous. Guardiola may have the hoodies, and the skinny jeans, but no manager knows real shoes like Dyche. He reels off the names, Cheaney, Church’s, John Lobb, Jeffery West. His mother stitched the early Dunlop boots worn by Trevor Brooking and Dyche is also a 1980s football boot connoisseur, a man who knows his Adidas Profi from his Stratos SL but is adamant that nothing beats a pair of World Cups. He recalls calling home from a tour in France with Nottingham Forest’s youth team when he complained to his father that a favourite of the coach was being picked ahead of him. “My dad was like ‘Stop that. You work hard, son, that’s how you move forward. Don’t make excuses. Get your head down and work hard’. Brilliant advice. Not getting in the way, not going to see the coach. But times have changed and you have to change with them.” Dyche, a Northants native, is a connoisseur of classic boots Credit:  PAUL COOPER FOR THE TELEGRAPH Dyche will admit that his roots are in a lost world of English football, around the fringes of Brian Clough’s last Forest team but never part of it, and then a hard-won career in the lower-leagues with the likes of Chesterfield, Millwall and Northampton. But you do not get to seventh in the Premier League in this brutal era of hire-and-fire without his keen intelligence and a natural curiosity about the game. Dyche has a thousand ideas and as many stories, and he recalls a tough time at Bristol City when he played under the Swedish coach Benny Lennartsson. “All the players were like, ‘He’s rubbish’. I thought: ‘You lot have lost your mind. He’s ahead of the curve.’ It was everywhere: tactically, his understanding of details, changing training, the professionalism - a massive shift. You could just smell it on him. He was a talker not a shouter and it was when football was just turning.” No manager who keeps a club with finances as modest as they are at Burnley buoyant in the Premier League will be expected to stay forever, so the question is how Dyche sees his career. Without Boothroyd’s faith, and then Malky Mackay’s insistence that Dyche be appointed his assistant at Watford in 2009, when the club wanted an older man, he admits he could have stayed much longer in youth development. The next fork in the road could be even more significant. “You need doors to open, you need a chance – and you have got to have something, to take your chance when the door opens at the right time. My first port of call was to be a manager, then it was a successful manager, then it was a Premier League manager. Then, can I stay in the Premier League? What opens next? I am at A and going all the way to Z is high unlikely in any career, let alone football. You have to weave your way like the river, pick up your skills and keep going. “Some jobs you look at and think: ‘That’s nearly impossible to turn round.’ But what are your circumstances? If you are in a job and another becomes available and you can’t see a way of that moving forward, then you have a choice. If you are out of work and a job becomes available you might think: ‘I have to take it because jobs are so scarce.'” He still speaks to his old Chesterfield manager John Duncan who plotted that miracle run to the 1997 FA Cup semi-final in which Dyche scored a penalty against Middlesbrough. He says that for the first year the pair did not get on - Dyche simply could not see what his manager was trying to do. When at last it became clear he “marvelled” – his word – at how Duncan had spotted the team’s hitherto hidden potential. Another useful lesson picked up along the way and one more reason to approach Saturday without fear.

Bournemouth's Callum Wilson looks dejected

Britain Football Soccer - Millwall v AFC Bournemouth - FA Cup Third Round - The New Den - 7/1/17 Bournemouth's Callum Wilson looks dejected Reuters / Dylan Martinez Livepic

Brentford’s Daniel Bentley is the ‘best goalkeeper outside the Premier League’, says Millwall boss

Brentford’s Daniel Bentley is the ‘best goalkeeper outside the Premier League’, says Millwall boss

Championship results: Fulham claim late draw vs Preston, Brentford beat Millwall as QPR hold Sunderland

Championship results: Fulham claim late draw vs Preston, Brentford beat Millwall as QPR hold Sunderland

Neil Harris not playing blame game after Millwall's season hits new low

Neil Harris not playing blame game after Millwall's season hits new low

Neil Harris not playing blame game after Millwall's season hits new low

Neil Harris not playing blame game after Millwall's season hits new low

Hope Powell: ‘I’m a builder, so this is great for me – it is what I like to do’ | Suzanne Wrack

Hope Powell watches her Brighton side prepare to take on Millwall Lionesses. Powell was sacked by England in 2013 and says Brighton ‘just felt right’ for her return.

Martin O'Neill happy to throw in Scott Hogan for Ireland debut against Moldova

Martin O’Neill will unleash a new generation of strikers against Moldova as he tries to reignite the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualification campaign. Ireland need to beat the group minnows on Friday night to set up a mouthwatering final game against Wales to determine which of them secures a play-off spot to compete for a place in Russia next year. O’Neill has been able to name Aston Villa forward Scott Hogan in an Ireland squad for the first time after he received his Irish passport last month, following his decision to play for the country where all four of his grandparents were born. There has also been a first call-up for Preston North End’s Sean Maguire, so prolific for Cork City in the League of Ireland before moving to England over the summer, as well as Millwall’s exciting prospect Aiden O’Brien. It means the Ireland squad has a fresher, less predictable feel and given the fact his team need to win both of their remaining games, O’Neill sounds like he is in the mood to take a gamble on some of the new faces. Martin O'Neill is yet to decide whether he would be willing to sign a new contract to stay on with the Ireland side after the end of the qualification campaign Credit: REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili “Sometimes you might be a bit concerned about throwing a young lad into a big, big game,” said O’Neill, who is yet to decide whether he will extend his contract with the Football Association of Ireland beyond this qualification campaign. “But, by the same token, some young lads come in and just accept the pressure. That is something you will get to know during the course of time. I don't mind risking it. “I wouldn't have a problem, if I thought over the next couple of days, that someone could eke out a goal for us. There's every possibility that could happen, I wouldn't have a problem. "It's nice and fresh to see some kids coming in, you can see the excitement and enthusiasm. Eventually, I suppose, you are hoping that over the course of time that these players become fully fledged international players as the older players drop away. It's exciting and you see young O'Brien and it is the same with young Maguire." O’Neill is particularly enthused by Hogan’s decision to play for Ireland, as he is the sort of in the box predator Ireland have lacked ever since Robbie Keane retired last year. “I think what I like is his ability in the box to forge a chance for himself and score,” added O’Neill "I think that he can improve greatly on his hold up play outside the penalty area and I have said that to him. “But he can certainly work the ball in the penalty area. He will have a shot and I definitely think that he is a goalscorer.”

Martin O'Neill happy to throw in Scott Hogan for Ireland debut against Moldova

Martin O’Neill will unleash a new generation of strikers against Moldova as he tries to reignite the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualification campaign. Ireland need to beat the group minnows on Friday night to set up a mouthwatering final game against Wales to determine which of them secures a play-off spot to compete for a place in Russia next year. O’Neill has been able to name Aston Villa forward Scott Hogan in an Ireland squad for the first time after he received his Irish passport last month, following his decision to play for the country where all four of his grandparents were born. There has also been a first call-up for Preston North End’s Sean Maguire, so prolific for Cork City in the League of Ireland before moving to England over the summer, as well as Millwall’s exciting prospect Aiden O’Brien. It means the Ireland squad has a fresher, less predictable feel and given the fact his team need to win both of their remaining games, O’Neill sounds like he is in the mood to take a gamble on some of the new faces. Martin O'Neill is yet to decide whether he would be willing to sign a new contract to stay on with the Ireland side after the end of the qualification campaign Credit: REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili “Sometimes you might be a bit concerned about throwing a young lad into a big, big game,” said O’Neill, who is yet to decide whether he will extend his contract with the Football Association of Ireland beyond this qualification campaign. “But, by the same token, some young lads come in and just accept the pressure. That is something you will get to know during the course of time. I don't mind risking it. “I wouldn't have a problem, if I thought over the next couple of days, that someone could eke out a goal for us. There's every possibility that could happen, I wouldn't have a problem. "It's nice and fresh to see some kids coming in, you can see the excitement and enthusiasm. Eventually, I suppose, you are hoping that over the course of time that these players become fully fledged international players as the older players drop away. It's exciting and you see young O'Brien and it is the same with young Maguire." O’Neill is particularly enthused by Hogan’s decision to play for Ireland, as he is the sort of in the box predator Ireland have lacked ever since Robbie Keane retired last year. “I think what I like is his ability in the box to forge a chance for himself and score,” added O’Neill "I think that he can improve greatly on his hold up play outside the penalty area and I have said that to him. “But he can certainly work the ball in the penalty area. He will have a shot and I definitely think that he is a goalscorer.”

Brentford squander lead in Middlesbrough draw as Millwall lose at home to Barnsley

Brentford squander lead in Middlesbrough draw as Millwall lose at home to Barnsley

Bournemouth's Callum Wilson looks dejected

Britain Football Soccer - Millwall v AFC Bournemouth - FA Cup Third Round - The New Den - 7/1/17 Bournemouth's Callum Wilson looks dejected Reuters / Dylan Martinez Livepic

Championship results: Millwall and Fulham win, QPR and Brentford draw

Championship results: Millwall and Fulham win, QPR and Brentford draw

Gordon Strachan preparing for long-haul if Scotland qualify for 2018 World Cup

Gordon Strachan could still be Scotland manager in 2020 if his players qualify for the World Cup finals in Russia. The Scots must beat Slovakia and Slovenia and negotiate the play-offs to book a place in next summer’s tournament climax and, although Strachan would not be drawn on specifics, he hinted strongly that he could have another campaign in him if the current process is successful. “It all depends on a lot of things but I’d rather give that a body swerve just now so I can really enjoy what’s coming up,” he said. “It’s going to be just a fantastic, fantastic occasion. It’s one of these things where you go, ‘Right, I’m looking forward to that’. “The excitement has started already. Once I flew up here this morning to name the squad and you get ready to go, it really is exciting. “To be able to take them, the players, the staff and all the rest would be just fantastic. But you know how hard this is going to be. The two hurdles are very hard.” Strachan made his comments after announcing a 26-man squad for the double header against Slovakia, at Hampden Park on October 5 and Slovenia in Ljublijana three days later. One notable return was that of Liam Cooper, whose contribution to the Leeds United central defence has helped the Elland Road side top the Championship in England with only a single defeat in nine outings. Scotland face a stiff task to make it to the 2018 World Cup Credit: pa “He's playing well in a winning side,” Strachan said. “He's a big influence, he's captain there now and that's big progress for Leeds and himself. I probably should have had him in the last squad to be honest so I made sure I didn't make the same mistake again.” Also back in the reckoning are Stoke City’s Darren Fletcher and his Sheffield Wednesday namesake, Steven, as well as the Millwall goalkeeper, Jordan Archer. Russell Martin and Steven Naismith were omitted because they have not been starting at Norwich City. “They would like to be included but at the moment they know, and I know, that not being in the Norwich squad is not conducive to what they normally bring to our squad. We will miss them in terms of professionalism and enthusiasm but we have to weigh that up with taking guys away for eight days. “I spoke to them and they're in agreement with me that's it's probably best, but they want to be on call, they'll be ready in case they are needed.” Craig Gordon’s next appearance will see him into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame with 50 caps. The Celtic goalkeeper’s attitude was praised by the manager. “He didn’t have a club at one point and Jim Stewart (Scotland goalkeeping coach) was bringing him just to come along and have a game.  “Players determine where they are going. I keep hearing about this ‘pathway’ for kids. Make your own pathway. He dealt with that and has been fantastic. I mean fantastic.” Strachan was full of praise for Scott Brown Credit: getty images Another Celtic player who has commanded headlines lately is Scott Brown, who was confronted by the Rangers manager, Pedro Caixinha, at half-time in Saturday’s Old Firm derby, an incident that only served to prompt the Hoops captain to fresh endeavours in the champions’ 2-0 victory. Strachan revealed that Brown’s famous stare was a feature of almost every dressing room exchange between himself and the player. “He has no reaction to whatever you say to him. I remember saying, ‘I think we should get a doctor to see him.’ He just kept staring at me!” Strachan said. “Doesn’t matter if you were calling him the best player in the world or the worst player in the world his expression would stay the same. It’s a bit off-putting at times. “He’s figured out what he’s good at and other coaches have helped him and he’s taken it on board. Through the years he’s picked up information, kept it in his head and got better. “I see more professionalism off the park. He realises now he’s a role model to everyone being the captain of Celtic and Scotland.”

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