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Dyche Praises Euro Stars

Boss gives credit to whole squad as Burnley secure Europa League slot ahead of trip to Arsenal

5 May 2018

Sean Dyche paid tribute to his entire squad as the Clarets booked their place in Europe.

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Dyche’s men have achieved the almost unthinkable in securing a place in the Europa League by guaranteeing a top-seven finish in the Premier League.

Everton’s dropped points in a 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday made it mathematically certain that Burnley will be playing in European competition for the first time since a run to the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-finals in 1966/67.

And Dyche says the achievement is down to the on-going efforts of all his players – who head to sixth-placed Arsenal on Sunday on the back of a run of just one defeat in nine games and ready to write a new chapter in Burnley history next season.

“It’s literally a different place to go,” said Dyche. 

“Breaking new ground here has become a theme of the different successes we’ve had over the last few years - different historical markers. But that comes with the good work the players have done.

“The players deserve an enormous amount of credit, for this season and every other season I’ve been here.

“There hasn’t been a season when I haven’t take pride in what the players have attempted to do. Even in the season when it didn’t work out for us, they gave their lot.

“This season we’ve had a marvellous season. The players deserve enormous credit for the performances, the mental stability they showed through a tough spell after Christmas and to then get on the back of that five straight wins.

“It’s fantastic credit to the squad, not just the 11 I pick.”

Burnley could yet claim sixth spot and gain direct entry into the group stages of the Europa League if they can secure a first win at Arsenal since 1974 – the last time the Clarets enjoyed a top-six finish in the top flight – in Arsene Wenger's last home game as the Gunners’ boss.

An eighth away win of the season would put Dyche's side level on points with the Londoners. 

However, Arsenal – who have lost every Premier League game away from home in 2018 – would also need to drop further points in their last two games at Leicester City and Huddersfield Town to leave the door open for the Clarets, who sign off at home to Bournemouth next Sunday.

From the other side:

Sunday’s game will be the last at the Emirates Stadium for Arsene Wenger after almost 22 years as Arsenal manager.

Wenger, who led the Gunners to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup wins following his appointment in September, 1996, told Arsenal’s club website: “When I came here, you had no history of foreign managers being successful in England.

“It's very difficult to put that into context again but I must say, what was always the charm of Arsenal for me was the challenge, because it was for me to adapt to the local culture.

“Also, Arsenal has always been a club who manages to combine the tradition and moving forward. My challenge was to move the club forward and also respect the tradition.

“When I arrived Liverpool and Man United were the best teams, they had great players. And that was the challenge to stand up to.

“It’s the end of a long story. Certainly not the end, but the end of my contribution at Arsenal.

“I wish just that the people who love this club will be happy in the future and get what they really want and love.

Injury news:

Defender Ben Mee is not yet ready to return for the Clarets and striker Chris Wood is rated as touch-and-go following a foot injury.

Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny is out with an Achilles tendon injury sustained in the Gunners’ Europa League semi-final exit to Atletico Madrid.

Midfielders Mohamed Elneny and Santi Cazorla are still sidelined.

Match stats:

The Clarets are looking to remain unbeaten in five consecutive top-flight away matches for the first time since a run of six in a row from April to September 1966.

This will be Arsene Wenger's 606th and final home match in charge of Arsenal.

The last three Premier League meetings between the two sides have been decided in Arsenal’s favour by a 90th-minute winner.

The Clarets’ last penalty in the Premier League was scored by Sam Vokes at Everton on 15 April, 2017.


Andre Marriner

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