We're taking nothing for granted, says Burnley boss Dyche
FORMER Claret Micky Mellon comes back to the club he loves tomorrow, but with the intention of causing an upset.
The Scot had two good years at Turf Moor.
He was a hero of their promotion into the now Championship in 2000, scoring in the 2-1 win at Scunthorpe United to secure runner’s up spot at the end of his first full season.
But he intends to be the villain this afternoon.
Mellon returns to his old stomping ground in temporary charge of bottom club Barnsley following David Flitcroft’s dismissal after a 3-0 home defeat to Birmingham City last weekend.
He got his tenure off to an impressive start, with a 2-1 midweek win at Brighton, and wants to back that up with another big win at Burnley.
But Sean Dyche has no intention of letting Mellon dismantle the Clarets’ fortress.
Not since March 11, when Hull triumphed 1-0 in front of the Sky cameras on the road to second spot and a place in the Premier League, have Burnley suffered defeat at home.
And Dyche wants that proud record to continue to keep in touch at the top of the Championship.
“I think it’s a team mentality, I think it’s a mentality of the club. We want to make it a hard place for teams to come – we’ve certainly done that, and got plenty of wins along the way,” said the Clarets boss.
“It’s an important marker, but I think our away form’s been excellent too.
“Our form in general has been excellent.”
Burnley spent two months at the top of the table thanks to a seven-game winning streak amid a 12-game unbeaten run that was ended last weekend by Huddersfield Town – only their second defeat in the league.
Five games without a league win has seen them fall to third place, albeit still only one point off the top.
But Dyche has no concerns about his Clarets.
“To go through a Championship season and expect to have it all your own way all the time – it’s not impossible but it’s unlikely,” he said.
“There are things that have gone against us that are our of our control, but we control the controllables.
“That’s what we maintain, that’s what we look to build on and work on continually to get even better performances.”
A managerial change means it is perhaps harder to predict Barnsley’s tactics, with their midweek win at Brighton serving as a reminder that the division is impossible to predict.
“That’s the Championship,” said Dyche.
“And it’s that strangeness of a change in manager.
“The stats say it makes an initial change then not long-term changes – often, but not always. We like to think we’ve made long-term changes here, but there are no whys or wherefores.
“But it does happen. We just have to make sure it doesn’t happen to us.
“But you can’t take anything for granted. We certainly don’t, and I’m sure others don’t either.
“You have to plan accordingly for each challenge as it comes and we are. We are always ready.”
Sometimes that involves second guessing the opposition, with teams showing increasing respect towards Burnley this season, given their length of stay in first place, by altering their style of play and becoming more defensive – both home and away.
“Watford set out and tried to build on counter attacks, and generally didn’t get that to happen too well,” said Dyche.
“That’s a tough way of playing and probably not natural to them.
“Most teams have come to play. They want to try to progress and try to beat us.
“We’ve found different ways of coping with most different tactical plays. I think we’ve been happy with the way we’ve done that.
“There were real positives in the performance the other night, and that one goal changes the whole feel of it.
“We were close to getting that, but the final moment of clarity just eluded us for probably one of the first times this season.”
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