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Dyche: Bournemouth Preview

21 February 2020

Sean Dyche feels vindicated by his insistence that Burnley were close to turning the corner, ahead of their stunning return to form.

The Clarets can climb to eighth in the Premier League if they can extend their unbeaten sequence to four wins in five games, at home to Bournemouth this weekend.

Victories over Leicester City, Manchester United and Southampton, along with the home draw against Arsenal, followed on from a run of four league defeats around the festive period that stalled the Clarets’ progress.

“I try to speak honestly and the facts are, when things weren’t going so well, I said we weren’t a million miles away,” said the Clarets boss.

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“People can question that because they can get blinded by results – we all do that at times – but I didn’t think we were a million miles away from delivering the details that you need.

“That’s all that was missing in those four games, and it’s not easy to get everything right in a game.

“More often that not, we’ve been making good, rather than bad decisions and certainly we’ve done that over the last four games.

“Now we have to keep the focus in both boxes, because that’s where games are won and lost, but more generally in our performance.

“If we do that, we’ll enhance our chances and I’ve drummed that into the players.”

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Dyche, who welcomes Icelandic winger Johann Berg Gudmunsson back to the squad following six weeks out with a hamstring injury, added: “The players have had to work hard for what we’ve got because nobody owes you anything.

“We’ve had a tough run, followed by a good run and now it’s up to us to carry on that challenge, back at Turf Moor, with the fans right behind us.

“There are no ‘gimmes’ though. Bournemouth are a decent side who have had an up and down time recently.

“They have a good manager, who I like and respect, but all that goes out of the window when the whistle blows.

“We have to attack the game and make it about us. That’s certainly the message from me.”

Last week’s matchwinner, Matej Vydra, is again on stand-by to start, following the news that leading goalscorer Chris Wood is rated only ‘touch-and-go’ with a hamstring tweak.

And should he get the nod, Dyche wants the Czech striker to again seize the moment.

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He said: “Strikers thrive on their goals. They buzz off scoring and when it’s been in you since you were a tot and you score goals like Matej has, all through his life, that’s the drug you are looking for.

“He scored a goal worthy of winning any game and got a brilliant reception from the fans and the players.

“You could see all the players fly after him and enjoy the moment with him and that’s part of the glue that holds us together.

“The bond in the group is strong and they have empathy for those who are not playing.

"It’s definitely not sympathy, because it’s a cut-throat business and you have to earn the right to keep the shirt.

“If he gets his chance again this weekend, we want him to go out there and enjoy it and perform, and has a chance, that’s for sure.”

Clarets Player has live commentary from Turf Moor on Saturday, from 2.45pm, with Phil Bird. Day passes, costing just £1.99, are available.

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