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Wednesday 16
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Burnley

Clarets lucky to have loyal leader

19th September 2019, 14:42 by Bobbie Jackson

Loyalty is a rarity in football nowadays but Burnley can count themselves lucky to have a man with that attribute at the helm.

Sean Dyche will take charge of the Lancashire club for the 313th time on Saturday when Norwich visit Turf Moor in the Premier League.

He will become their fourth longest-serving manager – passing Stan Ternent on the all-time list.

Barring something extraordinary, he should climb up to third spot before the end of the season as he hunts down Albert Pickles (336).

John Haworth (464) and Harry Potts (728) are still some way off but there is no doubt that Dyche ranks among them in terms of his status at the club.

Dyche led them into Europe last season, albeit just the qualifying rounds of the Europa League, to become only the second manager to do that with Burnley.

Potts was the other boss to pull off that feat when he took the Clarets to the quarter-finals of the European Cup in 1960-61.

In Dyche, Burnley have a special character in the modern game.

It was around two years ago that he was heavily linked with Premier League rivals Everton after Ronald Koeman was sacked.

Most would jump at the opportunity to accept the post at a club with huge amounts of history and more freedom in the transfer market.

However, Dyche rejected Everton’s advances in favour of sticking by the team that had treated him so well in the past.

For a while that appeared to be the wrong call as Burnley battled against relegation last term but he did just enough to steer them clear.

They have made a patchy start to 2019-20, picking up five points from their opening five games, but unlike other clubs in the division, he isn’t likely to come under pressure from the board.

There seems to be a good relationship between manager and chairman, Mike Garlick, and they have faith in one another to do the right thing.

He’s the second-longest serving manager of any club currently in the top-flight – Eddie Howe at Bournemouth sitting first – and his no-nonsense approach is just what the Clarets need.

A true leader in every sense of the word, Dyche is expected by most to keep Burnley clear of relegation once again in 2019-20.

The players have clear instruction and would run through brick walls for the gravelly-voiced, straight-talking 48-year-old, and he is well respected by fans from the traditional working-class northern town.

Their admiration for Dyche was demonstrated when the Princess Royal pub, which is based close to Turf Moor, was renamed The Royal Dyche following their foray into Europe.

Legendary status is already confirmed for the Kettering-born manager but he possibly still has a few more chapters to write into Burnley’s history books.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Bobbie Jackson is a reporter with an in-depth knowledge of football at all levels. A Blackpool supporter, Bobbie is also a keen rugby union, boxing, MMA and UFC follower.

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