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'Let's Do It Again' - Dyche

Burnley boss hopes for more of the same in 2018

28 December 2017

Sean Dyche hopes 2018 can be just as memorable as the past 12 months as the Clarets look to end a famous year on a high.

Dyche’s men play their final game of 2017 at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, knowing they will see out the year in the Premier League’s top seven.

The Clarets have not scaled such heights at this stage of a campaign since 1973 - having maintained their status last season as a top-flight club for the first time since the middle of the same decade.

And Dyche is delighted with the direction the club – and his players – are going in as he prepares to ring out the old and bring in the new over a double-header weekend which also brings Liverpool to Turf Moor on New Year’s Day.

“It was a very good season to stay in the Premier League and then to build on that into this season...over the whole year it's very pleasing,” said the Burnley boss.

“It would be good if we could do another version of it. We want to continue to be flexible, continue to improve.

“We're still going to look in the market if we think we can and if it's appropriate.

“But I've been really pleased with the development of the players. It's a big underlying thing of mine.

“Is the team continuing to move forward? I believe it is. Individually and collectively we're getting stronger and I think that's a really big marker for me as a manager.

“It's something I promised myself as a coach when I came into it and, as a manager, can I add to the players? Can I give them something that helps them improve?

“That's beyond results. Results are what I'm measured by as a manager but there's a journey beyond that and that's the one for me.

“I keep seeing these players improving and that's really pleasing going into the new year.”

The Clarets finished last season with 40 points and having just passed the half-way mark of the current campaign are only seven points away from that total.

And that’s the only target Dyche is addressing after seeing his side add to their tally with a Boxing Day draw at Manchester United, where the Clarets - backed by superb travelling support - dug deep to get within minutes of becoming only the second team to win at Old Trafford in 43 matches.

He added: “The first aspirations are to better last season. That's obvious.

“From outside I think the fans are enjoying the ride. I think they’re well aware there's no gimmes and we have to earn the right in everything we do.

“I think our own fans are becoming aware we have to do that in different ways.

“From a fan's point of view they know we have to continue doing that and I don't think the fans here are too drunk on it all.

“They know there's a reality to it. We have to work for everything we get.”

Dyche has no fresh injury worries for Saturday’s trip to the John Smith’s Stadium, with Stephen Ward doubtful over a return and striker Chris Wood rated as ‘touch and go’ after missing Tuesday’s 2-2 draw.

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