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Change For The Better - Dyche

28 December 2016

Sean Dyche has praised his players' willingness to accept change and still make a big impact in matches as the Clarets head for the half-way point of the season.

After three seasons of ultra-consistent selection, Dyche has varied his starting line-up more this season in a bid to find a winning formula in the top flight.

That has paid off with a return of 20 points from Burnley's first 18 games, the three taken from the 1-0 Boxing Day win over Middlesbrough lifting Dyche's side to 14th-place in the table.

And the Burnley boss is delighted to the way his players have taken on the board the necessary change of emphasis as they look to secure their place among the elite.

Dyche stated: "I've said over this season, it's important we reflect on two years ago in the Premier League.

"We know the format that we enjoyed using in the Championship and everyone knows the story.

"For the Premier League, it's how can we change it, how can we adapt it to get more points on the board? 

Sam Vokes helped Andre Gray score his second Premier League goal of the season

"We've done that so far. Of course, there are still lots of big challenges coming our way.

"But the players have done that as well. It's hard for them to accept changes, and maybe coming out the side and going on the bench.

"But accept it they must. I spoke to them after the game on Monday.

"The respect within the group is a powerful thing over a season and the fact that okay 'maybe it's not my day today, but I'll be ready', and I thought all the subs made a difference when they came on against Middlesbrough.

"That's all I can ask, for the players to sit there and be ready, get over any disappointment when they're out the team and get ready to go back in."

Sam Vokes, Steven Defour and Johann Berg Gudmundsson all came off the bench against Boro, with Vokes flicking the ball on for strike partner Andre Gray to bag the late winner which gave the resolute Clarets a sixth home win of the season.

Jeff Hendrick will serve a one-match ban for collecting five yellow cards

And Dyche - who will be forced to make a further change for Saturday's visit of struggling Sunderland when Jeff Hendrick serves a one-match ban - wants his players to continue to be game-ready when their chance comes. 

He added: "There's no guarantee when you make subs they do what you want them to do, so I never over-egg the credit for it.

"When it works people suggest you made the right decision.

"But there's no guarantee. Your instinct, as well as your knowledge of years of playing and being a manager, and your staff are important as well to make a decision, and I thought again they did work.

"Vokesy's was a great knock-down for Andre to go and finish, Johann is just getting back fit and showed a few moments and Defour gets a few minutes on the pitch because of Deano going off.

"As long as people are ready, as long as they are ready to affect a game. That's the key thing for us and I think over time you will see our substitutes have been ready to affect a game, so all credit to them."

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