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Dyche: We've Had It Tough

22 August 2018

Sean Dyche believes that Burnley have had it tough at the start of their European adventure.

The Clarets go head-to-head with 44-time Greek champions Olympiakos on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League qualifying play-off in Athens.

And having already battled hard in two previous qualifying ties, to overcome Scottish Premiership runners-up Aberdeen and Turkish Super Lig side Istanbul Basaksehir, Dyche insists his squad have endured a baptism of fire on the club's return to European competition for the first time in 51 years.

“We’ve had a tough time of it really,” said the Burnley boss. “There was a lot of noise with the so-called ‘Battle of Britain’ and then Istanbul were very technical.

“This is the prestige of the tournament. Olympiakos have got history here and a deep knowledge of European football and that’s slightly in their favour.

“But we’ve got a freshness to take these challenges on. You want to play teams that challenge you and we take on every game to win and we’ve got that kind of mentality.

“These competitions are to be respected and whatever team we put out tomorrow I expect them to go out and deliver a performance, as we did against the Turkish side.

“The rest will take care of itself.”

New signing Matej Vydra has travelled with the Clarets following two run-outs for the U23s.

And Dyche plans to make a late decision on the Czech international, and several others in the squad carrying knocks.

He said: “Matej played in the week and he’s coming up to fitness, so we’ll make a decision on him.

“It’s a bit of a hard one for him because he’s not had a settled week in terms of getting to know the team.

“Equally I prefer my players to get fit to play, not play to get fit. That’s a maybe, so let’s wait and see.

“We have a couple of knocks that we have to make late decisions on.

"We performed very well in the last round with the changes, so we’ll choose a side that we feel is appropriate for the game.”

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