Sean Dyche is proud of what Burnley Football Club has become as he celebrates five years in charge of the Clarets.
Dyche will lead Burnley out to face Newcastle United at Turf Moor tonight (kick-off 8pm), five years to the day since his appointment.
The 46-year-old has since become one of Burnley’s most successful managers, leading the club to two promotions to the Premier League and seeing the Clarets improve almost beyond recognition on and off the field.
“To grow into what we are, I’m absolutely delighted with that, and proud,” said Dyche.
“We’ve stuck to what we’re about and continued to have success.
“The whole feel of the club and how it is run is something to be proud of.
“We just get on with what we’re doing, and if people align that to different points in the history of the club, and it is positive, great.
“I never sit on my laurels, it’s always about how we can move it forward. That is the next question.
“We keep pushing it, that’s the way we work, and hopefully we can continue to be successful.”
The Clarets go into tonight’s game as a top-10 team in the Premier League – compared with a side 14th in the Championship and struggling for momentum when Dyche took over.
“The team deserve the credit, because we are moving forward,” added the former Watford manager, whose current side is the first Burnley team since the mid-1970s to be playing back-to-back top-flight seasons.
“That’s a great thing for me as manager, to continue that development thinking.
“I think the team, as individuals, we are continuing to move forward.
“I know I am judged by results. I know the club is. But within that, there has to be that viewpoint that the players are progressing and I think they are.”
That progress has seen the Clarets put together an impressive start to the season, which brought only a second defeat in nine league games as league leaders Manchester City last Saturday.
They now face a Newcastle side one point and two points better off in the table, having succeeded the Clarets as Championship title winners last season to re-claim a place in the Premier League at the first time of asking under former Real Madrid and Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez.
The two clubs have faced each other just twice since 1983 – drawing each time in the 2014/15 season – with Newcastle not having won at Turf Moor since Boxing Day, 1975.
“Rafa has got his group together. They have bonded as a team and they look like a fair outfit.
“So yet again, it’s another big challenge for us. But we are in good form ourselves. Take the Man City game out of it – because they are the super powers at the moment – and there has been a good show of form for us and we are looking forward to the game,” said Dyche ahead of what should be a special Turf Moor occasion.
Sam Vokes could be back for the Clarets, with strike colleague Chris Wood a doubt with a hamstring strain.
Newcastle, beaten just once in seven games, have frontman Dwight Gayle back from injury, with Benitez paying his compliments to the job Dyche has done.
“It is a team in his image,” said the United boss. “When you have a manager who has been there a while and he is trying to sign the players he wants, in the end you have a team that knows what to do and they know what the manager wants and I think it is an advantage, so they are doing well.
“They are well-organised and they are in a good position in the table. They play with confidence, so it always an advantage if you want to go and compete in every game.”