X

Sunday 16
June

Burnley

Dyche desperate for wins in defining stage of the season

29th December 2018, 10:11

Sean Dyche knows Burnley are entering a crucial period of the season in their efforts to stay in the Premier League.

The Clarets have lost nine of their last 11 league games and go into Sunday's clash with West Ham three points adrift of safety and on the back of a home hammering by Everton.

After West Ham, Burnley face a key test at Huddersfield on January 2, while matches against Fulham, Watford, Southampton and Brighton follow over the next few weeks.

Boss Dyche said: "All games are important. But it's fair to say that it's a different story against some clubs than it is to others.

"There are a group of teams we have to challenge ourselves against and we're playing some of them in the next four games. Beyond that, there's a clutch of games over the next eight.

"We've got one of the big names in there, and then the rest are teams we'd like to think we should compete against."

Dyche had been renowned for making very few changes to his team, but this season has seen him tinkering with personnel and formation.

Initially, the Europa League prompted a rethink in approach, but lately it has been about trying to find a solution to Burnley's poor form and leaky defence, while coping with persistent injury issues.

Dyche said: "We're shuffling to try and get that mixture, that blend, that can be successful. I think that's an ongoing thing until people settle into the slots.

"We've got close to having the full squad available and every time we get there we've had injuries, and I don't think that's helpful.

"We've had situations where we've had no wide men available, we've had situations where centre-halves have been down with hernias - at one point two centre-halves.

"There's been a lot of challenges. Our job is to navigate our way through that and still find wins.

"We've attempted to do that, but we know the second half of the season is quite obviously very, very important."

Dyche has switched to a back five for the past three games, which worked reasonably well in defeats by Tottenham and Arsenal but was horribly porous against Everton.

Dyche gave a Premier League debut to Ben Gibson in that game, with the summer signing finally fit after two hernia operations, and he scored the Clarets' only goal before being substituted in the 63rd minute.

"He did fine," said Dyche. "We only took him off for a tactical change. Not an easy game to come into, that's for sure. I certainly wouldn't apportion too much on him about the result."

Another summer signing, goalkeeper Joe Hart, is one of only two ever-presents in the Premier League along with defender Ben Mee but, with Tom Heaton on the bench and Nick Pope nearly fit, Dyche stressed that no one is safe.

He said: "It's never in doubt that we look at every player on the pitch. There's very few players this season who have laid down such a strong marker where they're almost written on the team-sheet before it's even considered. Last season, I thought we had a lot of that."

West Ham are in contrasting form to Burnley having won five of their last six games to climb into the top 10, which is no surprise to Dyche.

"I think the only surprise with West Ham over the last few seasons is that they haven't been doing this because they're a good squad," he said.

"They spent a fortune in the summer and it's showing. There's some real quality there.

"They can still have days where they concede goals so they're certainly a team that you can attack and get at. But you've got to be wary of the fact they've definitely got an attacking threat."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

More Burnley

Burnley

Canaries vying with Clarets for Reed

14th June 2019, 17:57

Burnley's hopes of signing midfielder Harrison Reed from Southampton could be scuppered by interest from Norwich City.

Burnley

Potters eyeing Clarets shot-stopper

14th June 2019, 09:22

Stoke City are believed to looking at bringing Burnley goalkeeper Joe Hart to the bet365 Stadium in the summer transfer window.

Burnley

Wolves denied with Tarkowski bid

13th June 2019, 18:55

Burnley have turned down an approach from Wolves for defender James Tarkowski, according to reports in the English media.

Burnley

Saints to visit on opening day

13th June 2019, 12:13

Burnley will start the new season with the visit of Southampton after the 2019-2020 Premier League fixtures were released.

Burnley

Mitchell joins Larne after leaving Burnley

12th June 2019, 16:49

Goalkeeper Conor Mitchell has joined NIFL Premiership club Larne on a free transfer following his departure from Burnley.

Burnley

Juve forward linked with Burnley switch

12th June 2019, 16:39

Burnley are planning a loan move for Juventus forward Stephy Mavididi but they will face competition for his signature.

Recent Sport Headlines

Arsenal

Arsenal fail with Lorient bid

16th June 2019, 05:08

French outfit Lorient have rejected a second bid from Arsenal for Alexis Claude-Maurice, reports have claimed.

Arsenal

Gunners told £30m for target

16th June 2019, 05:08

Arsenal will have to pay in the region of £30million if they are to have a chance of signing Hakim Ziyech from Ajax.

Bournemouth

Cherries reveal Fraser deal

16th June 2019, 03:37

Ryan Fraser still has a contract offer on the table with Bournemouth as they look to fend off interest from Arsenal.

West Ham United

La Liga duo tipped to make Hammers switch

16th June 2019, 03:27

West Ham are hoping to wrap up a double deal for Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gomez and Eibar defensive midfielder Joan Jordan.

Chelsea

Derby fight to keep Lamps

16th June 2019, 03:19

Derby are understood to have opened talks with Chelsea target Frank Lampard over a new deal to keep him with the Rams.

Manchester United

United in for West Ham ace

16th June 2019, 02:59

West Ham defender Issa Diop is on the wanted list of Manchester United, who are ready to offer £45million plus a player.

Cricket

Proteas seal overdue World Cup win

15th June 2019, 20:11

South Africa have claimed their first win of the 2019 World Cup after defeating Afghanistan by nine wickets in Cardiff on Saturday.

Tennis

Berrettini and Auger-Aliassime to contest Stuttgart final

15th June 2019, 19:27

Matteo Berrettini will take on Felix Auger-Aliassime in Sunday's Stuttgart Open final.