Sean Dyche has spoken of his pride at marking his 200th game as Burnley manager with a trip to Arsenal this weekend.
The highest placed English manager in the Premier League reaches the milestone by taking his squad to The Emirates, to face the side managed by the longest serving manager in the country.
And Dyche, who does not hide his admiration for the job Arsene Wenger has done at Arsenal, feels his side are in good shape to take on one of their biggest challenges of the season.
The gaffer said: “I am delighted to make that milestone because it’s tough. We all know the stats on management now and how tough it is.
“To hit 200 (games) is a good marker and we’ve had time to build something, slowly but surely.
“We have a culture and environment here that is part of our building blocks for success.
"There’s been a lot of good work done, but not just by me, but my staff who have done fantastically well, the Board, the staff in the offices, and the fans.
“It’s been a really connected period for everyone and it’s been a powerful thing getting to where we have – and moving forwards.
“Everyone knows we don’t do blind faith and the reality is Arsenal is a tough place to go.
“But we are in good shape ourselves, we are enjoying the challenges. You have to play all these games away from home in the Premier League and we have been to some really tough places.
“A lot have been against teams in mid-table and upwards, and statistically that suggests they will be easier than going to places like Arsenal.
“So we’ll take on the latest challenge as we always do and go down there with a good mindset to deliver a good performance.”
Wenger is now in his 21st year as Gunners boss. And Dyche insisted is was always a pleasure to pit his wits against someone who has helped change the face of football in this country.
“I can’t give Arsene enough credit for what he’s achieved,” he explained.
“It’s quite an achievement to get so many games at one club, to remould the club and re-fashion the team again and again, to find the success they’ve had and all the great players that have been through.
“He has done so many good things at one club and for the game as well, I think.
“He has rubbed off on so many managers and coaches and the game at large. I just have so much time for people like him and Sir Alex, for what they have achieved in the game, and continue to do.”
Burnley will run the rule over several injuries ahead of Sunday’s game.
Dean Marney and Ashley Barnes expect to be available after missing the FA Cup third round replay victory over Sunderland with minor knocks, while Johann Berg Gudmundsson should also be fit for selection after injuring a hamstring in the first tie at the Stadium of Light.
However, Scot Arfield, who also limped off with a hamstring tweak in the first meeting with the Black Cats, is more of a doubt.
Dyche said: “Dean and Barnesy were common sense. We wanted them to be involved on Tuesday and they didn’t quite make it.
“We made a joint decision that it wasn’t going to be, but I’m pleased to say they trained on Friday and looked clear, as did Johann.
“Scott is touch and go, so we’ll have to keep monitoring that one.”
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