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Dyche Looks To Harness Underdog Spirit

29 January 2016

Sean Dyche is looking forward to his side being underdogs again in this weekend’s FA Cup fourth round tie at holders Arsenal.

The Clarets have got used to going into games as favourites again following their valiant attempt to stay in the Premier League.

And boss Dyche is looking forward to pitting his wits with long-serving Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who was generous in his praise of Burnley’s efforts last season.

He said: “In the Championship are viewed differently this season than two seasons ago, and certainly last year in the Premier League.

“We obviously are the underdogs and the weight of expectation with understandably be on Arsenal purely because of the grandeur of the club and the fact they are going well again.

They have some very, very good players and a manager who said some very nice things about us to me last season, which I am thankful for.

“Not many will fancy us, but there are no guarantees and that is the marvel of the underdog spirit and the magic of the cup.

“We’ll just look to perform and that’s the main thing and then we’ll take things from there.”

Dyche admitted midfielder Dean Marney was “touch-and-go” for the trip to London, after failing to recover fully from a minor calf strain.

And after making four changes and coming out on top in the third round victory at Middlesbrough, he again admitted he may look to make changes, with a big week coming up, including Championship games at Sheffield Wednesday and at home to leaders Hull City.

Dyche added: “We will look to pick a team wisely because it’s quite obvious our biggest challenge is to be back in the Premier League.

“Every game is a big game in the Championship and we have two big games next week and we have to be ready for them.

“I’m not suggesting, for one second, that the FA Cup is not big. It’s massive and I have had my own experience of it in my lifetime as a player, let along as a manager.

“It still means a lot, but we have to look at the bigger picture and find that balance, as we did in the last round at Middlesbrough.

“There won’t be wholesale changes, but we will look at the realities of the squad and the next fixtures and use it as wisely as we can to make sure we are fresh going into the next league game.”

Following the cup clash, Dyche’s immediate attentions will then turn towards Monday’s transfer window deadline, which ends at 11pm.

But the gaffer, who has so far added just Paul Robinson to the squad this month, insisted he will not be pushed into signing players just to boost his numbers.

He said: “There is nothing I can tell anyone, other than we are actively pursuing certain situations and until all sides could agree there’s nothing to report.

“The Board have made it clear to me there is a certain amount available and we will try to use that wisely.

“If we can’t, or people keep saying no, then that’s the way it goes.

“That’s not just one target though; there’s a number and the detail in that is they have to be at least good enough to challenge our group.

“If that’s not the case, then there is no point in spending however much money on situations.”

Clarets Player HD has full match commentary from The Emirates this Saturday at 2.45pm. CLICK HERE for more details.

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