Clarets look to make end-of-season clash an event
Sean Dyche has urged his players to send supporters off into the summer with smiles on their faces this weekend.
The Clarets host Ipswich Town at Turf Moor on Saturday (12.45pm KO), with a top-ten finish still a possibility.
And with both clubs assured of their Championship status this weekend, the Clarets boss is looking for his team to turn on the style.
Dyche said: “We want to finish on a high basically and make it in an event.
“It’s an awkward one for them (Ipswich) and us with nothing wholeheartedly to play for, but we want to make it an event for ourselves, the supporters and go out with the freedom to go and play and put in a performance that will lead to a win.
“In the maddest season in Championship memory, we could finish one point out of the relegation zone or 10th.
“If that is not the maddest advert for the Championship, then I don’t know what is.”
Dyche and Burnley’s summer planning can begin in earnest following Saturday’s curtain call.
With Dean Marney joining Ross Wallace and Kevin Long in signing new long-term deals, and Michael Duff assured of another season after triggering a clause in his existing contract based on appearances, it leaves four first-teamers – Brian Jensen, Lee Grant, Chris McCann and Martin Paterson - out of contract.
And Dyche accepts there are challenges ahead of him in the coming months as he looks to progress the club.
He explained: “We have the smallest squads in the division, we’ve used the least number of players and I haven’t changed a player yet!
“We were conceding 2.3 goals a game when I got here and it’s very unlikely you are going to stay in the division if you keep going that, so that that had to be effected.
“There are so many different things that have happened this season and I am constantly looking at the big picture.
“It’s my job to see through the noise and look at the facts of what we are and what we’re not doing.
“Going forwards there is a thirst for players who want to be hungry enough to affect what is going on here.
“It’s well stated and unlikely we are going to carry a large squad next year.
“The finances will have to be looked at and we will have to shop wisely.
“We haven’t got the financial power of a lot of teams in the division because it’s not a level playing field and Mick McCarthy, whose team we play this weekend, was saying something similar.
“It’s becoming more uneven by the year, but we still think we can put together a team that will be effective and challenge on a weekly basis.
“That’s the first marker; to make us competitive – and then of course see where that takes us.”
Dyche added: “We will want and have to be that team that lives the dream because we can’t just constantly throw money at it.
“That dream is Burnley’s pathway of four years ago, along with Blackpool and Watford; teams who have done it from the belief within the camp and from a group of players stimulated to get results.
“We also need that support of the community.
“I’ve made it clear that we need that one-club mentality and that’s going to be an important thing going forward.
“It’s a town thing, not just a club and its people and I feel it’s important to remind people of that sometimes going forward.”
If you can’t make it to Turf Moor on Saturday, Clarets Player will have full commentary with Michael Duff joining Phil Bird in the commentary box.
We are live on air from 12.30pm and for more details, CLICK HERE.