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07 April 2018 Venue Vicarage Road Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Dyche: I've Come A Long Way

Burnley boss on hs career progression as he prepares to face former club

6 April 2018

Sean Dyche believes his time as Clarets boss has brought him a long way since leaving Watford in 2012.

Dyche managed Watford in the Championship during the 2011/12 season and guided them to 11th place - their highest league finish in four years at the time.
 
But he had his contract terminated in the summer of 2012 – a decision that was not popular amongst the Watford fans at the time.  
 
After arriving at Turf Moor with just one year of managerial experience under his belt, he is aware of how far a journey he has been on during five-years in the Clarets hotseat.
 
 
He said: “I’ve been in the game all my life but it’s not the same as when you get in the hotseat and you’re the manager. 
 
“All the different things that have gone on regarding helping to structure a club off the pitch and bring success on the pitch; professionally it takes you a long way. 
 
“Over years of service you get more of a feel on what to do when, just from years of going down that pathway so many times.
 
“As a rounded person - let alone a professional football person - I think I’ve changed considerably.”
 
The modern game is often a difficult environment for relatively new managers, and Dyche appreciates the support that he has been given by the board and fans at Burnley since his arrival. 
 
 
He added: “I’ve been fortunate here. I’ve had a board that have been very understanding of the realities. Not all boards are like that and certainly not all fans. 
 
“They’ve (the fans) been understanding of what we’re trying to do, the ups and downs and how I’ve had this base to work from to continue to improve. Not many get that now.
 
“When it comes to management, the demand to get in the Premier League from the Championship is massive, and then once you’re in the Premier League the demand to stay is massive.”
 
Dyche looks back on his time at Vicarage Road fondly but believes the club has changed considerably since then. 
 
He said: “I had a fantastic time there. “They’ve got a way of working that does work.
 
"It’s not everyone’s cup of tea across the realms of football, but it’s clearly a complete business model change and they’ve done that very successfully.
 
“They’ve got in the Premier League which was their intention. They’ve developed a stand and training ground, and found a system of recruitment that’s worked for them. 
 
“I think from my time there’s only Troy (Deeney) and Maps (Adrian Mariappa) went for a little bit and came back. 
 
“They are the only ones (from his former squad) that are still active there, and two fine professionals.”
 
From the opposing camp
 
Manager Javi Gracia: “Burnley are having an amazing season, but I am only focused on trying to make sure they lose their next game.
 
“I see in this moment my players with ambition, they are very demanding of each other, and we will see where Watford finish at the end of the season.
 
“We will try to get three points and reduce the gap to six points. That is my objective in this moment.”
 
Match stats
 
The Clarets are looking for their first league double over Watford since the 2010/11 season in the Championship. 
 
Burnley are looking to secure four consecutive top-flight wins for the first time since a run of six victories in 1968.
 
The Hornets have conceded 27 first half league goals this season – more than any other side in the top-flight and the same amount as Burnley have conceded in total. 
 
Sean Dyche’s side have already picked up six league wins away from home this season which is more than their total for their previous three top-flight campaigns. 
 
Injury News
 
Johann Berg Gudmundsson is rated "touch-and-go" after missing last week’s trip to West Brom, while Ben Mee could miss out with a knock. 
 
Tom Heaton is likely to return to the squad, while Scott Arfield is still out with a calf problem and John Walters is not yet ready to make a return. 
 
Christian Kabasele could return to the Watford side but Gerard Deulofeu and former Claret Nathaniel Chalobah are unlikely to feature. 
 
Referee 
Paul Tierney

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Match Reports

Watford 1 Burnley 2

Vokes and Cork strike as dramatic fightback gives Clarets fourth straight win

7 April 2018

Two goals in four dramatic second-half minutes from super-sub Sam Vokes and captain marvel Jack Cork sealed a thrilling fightback as the Clarets continued their march towards a possible place in Europe.

Sean Dyche’s men looked as though they may be heading for only a second defeat in eight games after Roberto Pereyra had put Watford ahead early in the second half.

The Hornets hadn’t lost at home in 2018 but nothing looks capable of stopping the Clarets at the moment.

And they raised themselves for another big finish to grab a third successive away win for the first time as a top-flight club since 1973 to go six points clear of Leicester City in seventh place in the Premier League.

Former England captain Ray Wilkins was remembered before kick-off

Vokes sparked the fightback with his first touch after coming off the bench to level the scores with 20 minutes to go.

And in thrilling scenes, stand-in skipper Cork then nodded in his second league goal of the season before the Clarets stood firm to repel a late onslaught in more than five minutes of stoppage time to leave the travelling fans chanting about the prospect of a European tour next season.

The Clarets were forced to make a change from the side that had secured a third successive win at West Bromwich Albion a week previously as Ben Mee missed only his third league game of the season through injury.

That meant a re-call for Kevin Long in the centre of defence and the skipper’s armband for Cork on his return to the club where he spent half a season on loan almost a decade ago – club captain Tom Heaton’s return to first-team duty starting with a place among the substitutes.

Goalline technology confirmed Jack Cork's winner

Nick Pope’s outstanding form had earned him the right to continue his run in the side and he demonstrated it again with a smart early save to keep out a low shot from Pereyra after the Argentina international had tried to thread a shot into the bottom corner.

The Hornets had the look of a side not short of confidence after going unbeaten at Vicarage Road in six games in league and cup.

And Pereyra was denied by Pope again 10 minutes before the break, this time the Clarets’ keeper diverting the ball away from the top corner with a superb one-handed stop.

But it was not all Watford as Burnley looked to complete a first double over Watford since their 2010/11 Championship campaign.

Chris Wood was only inches off-side when he headed in a cross from Matt Lowton after just a couple of minutes.

And mid-way through a first half increasingly dominated by the hosts the Clarets could have gone ahead.

Ashley Westwood spread the play beautifully for Aaron Lennon, making his 350th Premier League appearance, to run at Jose Holebas.

Lennon made the space to deliver a dangerous low cross which failed to bring a connection from Ashley Barnes in front of goal and when Westwood followed up, his goalbound shot was blocked by the giant figure of Sebastian Podl.

Westwood, enjoying another fine game, is yet to register his first Burnley goal but the midfielder went close again a minute into the second half as the Clarets tried to take the initiative.

Goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis dropped a cross from Lowton on the edge of the penalty area but spared his blushes as he followed the ball out of the box and managed to block Westwood’s first-time shot with his body.

That was an isolated threat from the Clarets, though, and Watford’s persistence paid off with an hour gone when they went in front.

Sean Dyche managed Watford in the 2011/12 season 

Pereyra had been constantly knocking on the door and moments after seeing a free-kick bravely blocked by Lennon, the former Juventus wideman broke the deadlock.

Burnley will be disappointed with the way they allowed Daryl Janmaat to return the pressure and get the ball into the feet of Will Hughes who opened up the Clarets’ defence with a one-two with Troy Deeney.

Stephen Ward made a fine tackle to stop Hughes shooting but the full-back could only direct the ball into the path of Pereyra, who finally managed to beat Pope with a fierce strike from 10 yards as the keeper flew across his goal.

The Clarets needed to change something to get back into the game and when they did, it proved to be an inspired substitution.

Vokes was sent on in place of GK Nkoudou, who had earned a second start in the place of the injured Johann Berg Gudmundsson, with Burnley lining up a free-kick near the right touchline.

Westwood delivered it and when Adrian Mariappa headed the ball back towards his goal, Vokes was perfectly placed to steer the ball past Karnezis with his toe-end.

And three minutes later the turn-around was completed in dramatic style.

This time Westwood directed a free-kick beyond the far post where Long nodded the ball back for Cork to beat Karnezis with a header which the Greece international palmed away but from behind the line – goalline technology confirming a fourth successive top-flight win for the first time for the Clarets since 1968.

Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Ward, Lennon (Hendrick 81), Cork, Westwood, Nkoudou (Vokes 70), Barnes, Wood. Substitutes: Heaton, Taylor, Marney, Wells, Bardsley.

Booked: Nkoudou, Lowton

Watford: Karnezis, Janmaat (Okaka 76), Prodl, Mariappa, Holebas, Capoue, Doucoure (Carillo 85), Femenia, Hughes (Richarlison 85), Pereyra, Deeney. Substitutes: Gomes, Britos, Cathcart, Gray.

Booked: Doucoure, Okaka

Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 20,044

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