Gaffer adamant that tough spell will harden squad
Sean Dyche insists the Clarets’ flirtation with the Championship relegation zone will steel his players for the future.
Burnley head to relegation-haunted Wolves on Saturday seeking a victory that would mathematically ensure survival.
With just two games to go, ten teams could incredibly still end up joining already-relegated Bristol City in League One next season.
But Dyche is adamant his players will be better for the challenges they have faced this season.
“It’s about growth as a character,” insisted the Burnley boss.
Despair at Elland Road
“Some of these players will be experiencing the ups and downs of the Championship for the first time, so it’s part of their growth.
“Anyone can take the wheel of a ship in calm water. It’s not so easy in rough seas, but rough seas do make good sailors.
“That’s how it is and we have some young players who are learning - and they will from this.
“Of course we didn’t want that situation, but it comes your way and you have to deal with it.
“Within that, you also have to play with that freedom that makes a difference.
“Often the players on their journey to the top of a game allow themselves the freedom to do that.
“Manchester United travel around the country and get hammered at every ground they are at for being Manchester United, but they deliver.
“They have to be glued together to deliver performances and it’s the same whether you are top, middle or bottom.
“There is no short cut to gaining experience unfortunately and the players have to gather it as they go.
“It’s been a good time for that, but obviously we have to be productive in the next two games to make sure the good experiences are used to build the future.”
Charlie on target v Wolves
The permutations in the bottom half of the Championship are complex, but ultimately should two of Wolves, Peterborough and Barnsley fail to take maximum points this weekend, Burnley will be effectively safe, irrespective of their result at Molineux.
And with Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall and Blackpool also below Dyche’s men in the league table, there remains another crucial buffer.
However, it’s Wolves’ battle to keep their head above water that Dyche believes has puzzled most people this season.
Dyche, whose first game in charge of the Clarets came against Wanderers back at Turf Moor in October, explained: “I think everyone is surprised, looking at the group they have got.
“The whole league will be surprised, but I don’t think they are the only ones. Blackburn have had a tough run, Ipswich had to claw their way back up and these are big clubs with huge budgets and big playing rosters.
“As for us, we just want to go and give a good account of ourselves at Wolves.
“The media will be looking at them with their situation and Dean (Saunders) has come out and said he thinks they need to win both games.
“But we think about ourselves and it’s appropriate to finish as strong as we can.
“Wolves have to come at us. They have no choice.
“There is a bigger demand on them but that doesn’t mean we haven’t got our own demands so we will certainly be going there to win the game.”
Clarets Player will have full match commentary from Molineux from 2.45pm on Saturday, with Phil Bird and Darren Bentley. For details on how to listen from PC or mobile devices, CLICK HERE.