Clarets aim to give coaching staff winning return.Sean Dyche returns to a former club on Saturday looking to keep Nottingham Forest’s latest bid to recapture former glories in check.
Dyche started his career at the City Ground – alongside assistant manager Ian Woan and first-team coach Tony Loughlan – at the end of the 1980s as Brian Clough’s remarkable managerial reign moved towards its end.
And although the Burnley boss had to move on to start his prolific Football League elsewhere, he looks back fondly at the start he made to his career on the banks of the Trent.
“It’s a nice place to go to. I have always enjoyed going back there,” said Dyche, whose Watford side drew 1-1 at Forest last season.
“It was a nearly sort of journey for me. I nearly made the first team but not quite and ended up going off to Chesterfield and starting on pastures new.
“But it’s a great club and I was there through a great era. There were very many good players and obviously Woany went on and head ten years there and was a big figure there.
“They are very good memories for me at a club that helped start me on the pathway to having a career in football.
“It was a good time which, on reflection, gave me some good values to instil into myself.”
Under Clough, Forest were both English and European champions in a golden period over 30 years ago.
Their recent history hasn’t been so decorated but following a takeover last season and the appointment of Sean O’Driscoll as manager they will be at least looking to challenge for a return to the Premier League.
But despite their combination of history and resources, Dyche feels no inferiority complex as the Clarets, unbeaten in three games, look for the win that would take them above Forest in the table and potentially into the Championship’s top ten.
He added: “They have got a big squad and have added to that to again this year with a new influx of money.
“They are another what you would consider a force to be reckoned with. But I have mentioned many times I believe in what we’ve got, the players we’ve got and I believe in what we are trying to do.
“The signs have been really positive and never more so than a really dominant performance last weekend against Blackburn.
“There is still more to come. There are still demands put on them on a daily basis but the culture we set is beginning to become more of a natural thing for them.”
The Clarets are without the injured Ben Mee, meaning at least one change from the side that started last Sunday’s derby-day draw with Blackburn Rovers.
Dyche has options at left-back and admits that he is encouraged by the permutations at his disposal after Sam Vokes’ late goal against Blackburn and the contribution of his fellow substitutes Junior Stanislas and Danny Ings.
“We want that effect from the bench and I thought the three of them were excellent last Sunday at having an impact in a game which could have run out of steam, but didn’t because they went on and gave us a lift,” said Dyche.
“And that’s exactly what you want from your squad and your substitutes.”