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Dyche Dares To Dream At Half-Way Point

31 December 2016

Sean Dyche is daring to dream after the Clarets moved up to 11th in the Premier League with victory over Sunderland.

The Black Cats were swept aside at Turf Moor as Andre Gray struck a first top flight hat-trick and Ashley Barnes set the seal on the win with a late fourth from the penalty spot.

And Dyche declared himself delighted at the half way point of the season, which sees Burnley sitting pretty on 23 points – nine clear of Sunderland in the relegation zone.

The gaffer said: “Everyone wants to dream and achieve things and I want to fulfil and achieve things here.

“Everyone gets hungry for more and we’re no different. We have a group that wants to take on the challenge and deliver.

“We have done that so far, over the season, so overall I am really happy with that the team is doing and I’m really pleased for everyone connected with Burnley.

“It’s a tough job to get into the Premier League and a tougher one to get the points on the board in this league.

“We were written off and I understand why because we work under certain guidelines that make it more challenging, but that doesn’t stop us having a group that is ready to perform.

“I take great pride in this squad, not just the starting 11 but the whole group. Some have to miss out and people like Sam Vokes haven’t done a lot wrong to not be playing, but I just have to pick 11 that can hopefully win a game.”

Dyche added: “Today was a good performance and certainly one worthy of winning the game.

“We looked a threat; not just for the goals, and people forget they had won four of their last eight, so we had to be right with our levels today and we were.

“In the end it looks comfortable, but we had to earn that right and it’s ended a really good week.

“Actually, it’s been a good calendar year – and beyond that.

“You can quickly forget what’s been achieved here over four years, but equally I don’t over-think that and I know my mind will already be off this one and on to Manchester City.”

Gray became the first Burnley player to score a treble in the top flight since Peter Noble in September 1975.

The Clarets striker took his tally to four in two games and five for the season to take up the mantle of top scorer.

Dyche added: “Andre was excellent today. He is learning and he’s improving and he was doing that even when he wasn’t in the side.

“I spoke to him about the challenges of being in the Premier League and he’s adapting to it.

“He gets all the plaudits today, but I must say I thought Ashley was excellent alongside him. He is awkward and a handful and his work for Andre’s third, to chest it down and play him in, was fantastic.”

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