‘It changes all the realities of what you are trying to achieve as a group’: Sean Dyche admits Europa League did have a negative impact on Burnley’s season
- Sean Dyche has admitted he underestimated the impact of the Europa League
- Burnley unexpectedly find themselves in the drop zone as they face West Ham
- Dyche spent months dismissing the idea that European football would take a toll
- He now confesses long trips to Turkey and Greece have drained his resources
Struggling Burnley manager Sean Dyche had admitted for the first time that he underestimated the impact the Europa League would have on their season.
Burnley unexpectedly find themselves in the relegation zone as they face West Ham on Sunday in their 27th game of the season.
After months of dismissing the idea that European football would be a drain on resources, Dyche now confesses long trips to Turkey and Greece have taken a toll.
Sean Dyche has admitted he underestimated the impact that the Europa League would have
‘We were told it would be trouble playing in the Europa League and it has transpired that way because it’s been a massive challenge. Probably more than we thought regarding the dynamic of the group and the way it’s panned out with the crossover to the Premier League,’ he said.
‘Before, I was very positive about it, why wouldn’t you be, it was the first time in 51 years Burnley had been in Europe. But having gone through it, it’s a massive challenge. Every manager I have spoken to who has been through it has said the same. It’s hard to explain, it changes all the realities of what you are trying to achieve as a group.
‘During that period (of playing in Europe) you’ve drawn or lost games and not quite operating at the level you want. You miss some of your pre-season and then you have to get some slots to get the work in.
‘It is factual and it is real because I have been through it. I definitely understand why questions are being asked. Trust me, I am asking my own questions.’
Burnley have slumped after finishing seventh in May and already conceded more goals than they did throughout last season.
Dyche now confesses long trips to Turkey and Greece have taken a toll on their campaign
Joe Hart is under pressure after a massacre against Everton with Tom Heaton in contention
Former England goalkeeper Joe Hart is under pressure after a 5-1 Boxing Day massacre against Everton with Tom Heaton pushing for a recall. Last season’s hero Nick Pope is also close to returning from injury. He’s training again with the rest of the first-team squad and Dyche wants him to play in a couple of friendlies to get his eye in.
The Burnley boss has asked trusted football contacts to watch games at Turf Moor in order to give an independent view on what is going wrong.
‘We get feedback from the staff and the players and I have people outside the club as well who I listen to, who I trust or who I ask to come to our games. They are very honest people who look through the results,’ he said.
‘I certainly don’t think I’ve got all the answers. You’re in the wrong business if you think you have got all the answers because it’s a very tough business to have any answer.
Dyche’s past record means he will be given time to turn things around. And he refutes the players have been less committed than usual.
‘We out-ran Everton in virtually every metric,’ he said. ‘How could we have 50-50 possession, 11 against 10 shots, 23 crosses against 19 (without commitment). It is an impossibility.’