Sean Dyche insists there will be a swell of pride when he walks out at Manchester United this weekend on his fourth anniversary as Burnley boss.
The Clarets boss – already the eighth longest serving manager in English football, and the third longest serving in the Premier League, behind Arsene Wenger and Eddie Howe – accepts the clash at Old Trafford is a fitting milestone.
And as he reflected on a memorable reign, Dyche feels the Clarets fans should also enjoy the occasion.
He said: “I think most people would have taken Manchester United away this weekend when I arrived here four years ago.
“It’s kind of a measure of where we were and where we are, but there’s that weird thing that nobody really cares about the past.
“I think it’s more one for the fans. It’s a great occasion playing the superpowers of the division, but business-wise we want to win another game.
“Most of our players have played in many big games, but of course they know when they come around and the occasions they are.
“And despite people talking about the ups and down of United at the moment, they are a fine side with some big players, so we know the realities.
“But we are absolutely ready to take on the challenge.”
Two promotions in four years – and the near completion of a £10.6m state-of-the-art training facility are testament to the great work done by Dyche and his backroom team.
And the gaffer admits he is equally proud of the foundations he laid in the early days of his Turf Moor reign, which the club is now reaping the benefits of.
He said: “There’s some obvious things that have gone on, with the training ground and getting promoted twice.
“But behind that I’ve been really pleased with the work under that. Money brings a lot, we all know that, but before the money came there was a lot of good things going on and I was really pleased with that.
“I was an even younger manager then, but I know in the first six or seven months when I was getting a fair bit of stick, I knew we were putting in good things.
“I knew the analysis was changing, I knew the way we working and the club was running was right.
He added: “The first promotion was even surprising to me. I knew we’d be fine and we’d have a go at being around it, but that was like ‘wow!
“We got on a roll and had people playing on top of their games, so that was a really good start.
“Before that promotion season though I thought there was some really good work going on and I’m really proud of that first six to seven months.
“It’s hard, when you’re getting stick, to see through that and know we are laying down some good bricks and mortar here to build for the future.
“But I am very proud of that and you are calm when you believe it’s right.
“If I’m not calm that means I’m questioning myself and we’re not doing the things we need to do.
“But we were doing those things and I could go home every day and put my head on the pillow.
“As long as I know I’m giving the lot, doing things right and living by principles and morals I’ll sleep easily.”
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