Sean Dyche has used the third anniversary of his appointment to thank the Burnley fans for their support.
The Clarets boss accepts there were question marks over his arrival, most notably in his first six months, when the Clarets won just twice in 16 games between January and April 2013, before rallying to finish 11th.
However, the 13th longest serving manager in English football has since taken Clarets fans on another memorable journey, culminating in a second stab at the Premier League.
And as he gears up to take the acclaim from fans at tomorrow’s Turf Moor clash with Huddersfield Town, Dyche reflected on a whirlwind three years at the helm.
He told Clarets Player HD: “I thank everyone for their support, especially the fans.
“I had a tough first few months here and there was that question mark hanging over me and what I was about.
“It sometimes takes time for the fans to accept you as being authentic and people wondered could I be a good Burnley manager.
Dyche celebrates his first win as Burnley boss in November 2012
“But I’ve meant every word and I’d like to think over the three years I’ve earned the respect of the fans and the staff.
“It’s made for a very productive three years for everyone, I would hope.
“Certainly if you get the fans to come together with the team, that is a fabulous connection and they know they have a team here who give them everything they can to win a game.
“Beyond everything, that connection and that one-club mentality is such a tough thing to get and I have been so pleased that’s happened in my time here.
“We’ve always had to work and fight above what everyone expects of us, but this club has done that many, many times before.
“I’ve learned that from the history of this club and we had to do it again. That connection started to grow, because the players were playing well and new heroes were being born.
Danny Ings and Charlie Austin share a hug
“Now, it’s night and day from when I came here. The players have moved forward, the club has moved forward and the perception of the club has moved forward, but there’s still that solid connection that is thriving and this club is now in fantastic shape in many different ways.
“It’s night and day between then and now.”
Dyche was unable to spend a penny in transfer fees until over 12 months into his reign, when he finally splashed out to bring Ashley Barnes from Brighton and Hove Albion.
Yet the former Watford boss, whose record in the Championship with the Clarets now reads 35 wins, 20 draws and just seven losses in 62 games, insists every player who has pulled on the shirt has contributed to the club’s current standing.
He said: “Over the three years, there’s a couple of who could maybe have done me a bit more, but pretty much all of the players have given me at least fairness.
“When I’ve asked them to do something and give me what they can, most have and that’s great credit to them and the culture and environment we set.
Ashley Barnes on target v Wigan in April 2014
“We’ve had to re-model it three or four times along the way and even in those early stages, there was a learning curve for me as a manager, learning about myself and being under pressure and the expectations and culture of the area.
“But I knew what we were doing and I knew we were on the right lines, even through all the questions.
“Of course, I couldn’t guarantee Premier League football, but I was almost assured we would be a better outfit moving forward.
“That was before the Bolton game here on the opening day of my first full season, after we had to sell Charlie Austin, and the rest is history.”
He added: “I think everyone enjoyed the Premier League and the fans never wavered, even in tough times.
“I am really pleased we came out of that - after a few question marks about whether we could go again – the way we have.
“There are never any guarantees, and we know it’s a marathon not a sprint, but the early signs are positive in the way we are re-moulding the group and how new heroes are being born.”
The full 15-minute interview with Sean Dyche, reflecting on his three years at Turf Moor, can be viewed exclusively on Clarets Player HD later today.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS.