New Burnley boss has the answers
SEAN Dyche starts his Turf Moor tenure at home to Wolves tomorrow, and the Clarets’ new boss has taken the unusual step of handing his players a questionnaire to fill in as he bids to get the best of his squad.
Dyche may have been regarded as a straight-forward, no-nonsense defender during his playing days with the likes of Chesterfield, Bristol City, Millwall and Watford, but he is keen to take a subtler approach to life as Burnley manager.
As he was unveiled to the media at Turf Moor yesterday, the 41-year-old gave the impression of a man whose philosophy involves a particular attention to detail – a man eager to leave no stone unturned in his quest for success.
Dyche has been working with the Burnley squad since linking up with them for training for the first time on Tuesday morning and he has asked his players to write down answers to a list of questions as he assesses what needs to be done to improve results at Burnley.
The questions, though, remain a secret.
“They’re for me to know and for you to find out,” he said.
“I asked the players for feedback. One of the first things I believe in is finding out what they think, so I offered them the questionnaire and said, ‘Put down what you think’.
“I think it’s important. If you’re going to be flexible and open minded in your thinking, then you’ve got to find ways of knowing what you’re dealing with.
“You can make perceptions and assumptions of people but you don’t actually know them, you don’t actually know what you’re dealing with.
“So I believe in extracting information. What can you give us? What do you believe is going on?
“The good side of that is when they’re giving that feedback to you and you explain things to them, then there’s no doubt, there aren’t as many questions.
“That will be an ongoing thing, analysing the games, feed-back from the players and working with them.
“But the one thing they will know is that I’m the manager of this football club.”
That last line was a telling one, that Dyche is keen to stamp his own mark on the Clarets squad and implement his own ideas at the club, as he did when in charge at Watford last season.
They are ideas that have been formulated after working under a number of managers during his playing career.
Brian Clough was Nottingham Forest boss when Dyche emerged from the youth system at the City Ground together with Ian Woan and Tony Loughlan, who will work as assistant manager and first-team coach respectively at Burnley.
Later Dyche worked under John Duncan, during Chesterfield’s remarkable run to the FA Cup semi finals and with Ray Lewington and Brendan Rodgers at Watford – the latter when the defender had retired and moved into coaching with the youth team.
“You can go through every manager, Brian Clough, Ray Lewington, John Duncan,” Dyche said.
“Ian and Tony, my assistant and first team coach, we all came out of Forest and all believed in what we learned there. Then we added different things into our make-up over the years.
“I learned a lot from John Duncan when I was at Chesterfield, he worked off limited resources and got great success.
“I had to do a bit of that in my last job. This is slightly different, slightly better resources, slightly better technical style of players, but it’s using as many different influences as you can gather.”
Asked about his footballing philosophy, Dyche said the success of Jose Mourinho – most recently at Real Madrid – shows the importance of flexibility and that is something the new manager believes can improve the goals against column at Burnley which is currently the worst in the division.
“The first thing is to instil a culture of minimum requirement, maximum effort,” he said.
“Honesty, integrity, pride, passion – the team will put sweat on their shirt.
“When I was a supporter the one thing I wanted to see was a team who gave everything for the club.
“Within that we want to attack and score goals, and be defensive when we need to be. We want to do the ugly things a bit better.
“The ethos and the philosophy has to be flexible because if you look at the best, currently one of the best is Jose Mourinho.
“When Mourinho plays Barcelona he doesn’t think you’re going to outpass them, he’ll come up with a game plan that wins the match.
“It’s about being flexible in your philosophy.”