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Dyche: We're Tougher Now

27 September 2019

Sean Dyche feels the big test of Aston Villa’s season will come when the going gets tough.

The Clarets face a second successive game against a newly-promoted side this weekend at Villa Park, a week on from their impressive home win over Norwich City.

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All three of the Premier League new boys, including runners-up Sheffield United, have taken different approaches to survive in the top-flight, with Villa spending over £100m, the Blades around £40m and Norwich largely sticking with the squad than won the Championship title.

And after experiencing promotion twice, Clarets boss Dyche admits he is keen to observe how the new boys adapt to the challenges of the Premier League.

“The new sides often have that bit of gusto and extra energy, especially early on,” explained Dyche.

“There’s a belief in what you are doing, regardless of whether you get a result of not. But it’s about a season’s work and later in the season is when the grind really starts.

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“That’s for Villa and the other promoted sides to work out, but that’s certainly my reflection of the two occasions we were ‘new’ to the Premier League.

“We’ve come through that and although we are by no means guaranteed anything, we do look a little bit more assured about how we go about our business.

“You grow with the league and that sounds really easy, but the way it works isn’t.”

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Dyche, who has steadily built the best squad in his time at Turf Moor following two promotions, in 2014 and 2016, added: “It will be interesting this year because the three promoted teams are all going about it in different ways.

“Norwich have stuck with what they know and not gone as big as the other two in terms of finance, while Sheffield United are something of a half-way house, and Villa have put a lot of money in.

“It will be interesting to see how that pans out and I honestly don’t think there is a perfect way.

“However, you do have to earn the right to continue in the Premier League and you only do that by winning.

“Villa seem to be trying to mould a team quickly with some new players and get points on the board.

“We have to be aware of their strengths and go there and perform.

“But as I said we are getting more mature in our understanding of the Premier League and I think we showed that against Norwich last week. Can we now go and show it again against Villa?”

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The Clarets currently sit ninth in the Premier League, with Saturday’s opponents currently occupying 17th after winning once in their opening six games.

However, Dyche, who admitted he was looking forward to meeting up with Tom Heaton following the former Clarets’ skipper’s summer move to Villa Park, insists the focus is solely on performances, not placings!

“The league table is good for the fans, but I’m not looking at it and thinking we are in good shape with regards to the season,” added Dyche.

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“What I do think is it brings confidence and breeds a mentality that will continually enhance the details we work with.

“We are a pretty balanced group because we’ve had a lot of trials and tribulations, ups and downs and a lot of enjoyment along the way.

“They players enjoy their performance levels, but I don’t think they get too carried away with it.
“It’s to be enjoyed after a good result, of course, but it soon has to be parked because the next one comes along quickly.”

Clarets Player has live audio commentary from Villa Park tomorrow, from 2.50pm. Day passes are available HERE.

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