SEAN Dyche believes Burnley showed they could handle the Premier League during Monday’s 3-1 loss to Chelsea.
The Clarets were beaten by Jose Mourinho’s men at Turf Moor but gave a strong account of themselves, even taking a shock lead through Scott Arfield’s superb volley.
Dyche was pleased with the way his side stayed in the game after Chelsea had raced into a commanding half-time lead and thinks they can take a lot of encouragement from their opening game in the top flight.
“That will build belief in players, they can handle this,” he said.
“I thought overall we kept a competitive edge. I think Ian Holloway last year felt that we had the strongest jaw in the division and I understand what he meant.
“We kept going and that mentality is going to be very important over the season.
“There has to be a reality to what we’re hoping to achieve this season and Chelsea are top of the market or certainly up there.
“They’ve got so much quality in all areas, they can hurt you in any way.
“There’s an inner belief that the big boys have, they play with almost a touch of arrogance.
“We’re building that, we want to be humble but we need that touch of arrogance when we’re out there.
“There’s a big learning curve for us and where we’ve started it’s very tall, approaching the top end.
“We know that is not going to be our market but we can learn from it and that’s what we’ll look to do.”
Dyche admitted Chelsea were just too good for his side on occasions during the match, particularly Andre Schurrle’s brilliant second goal from an inch-perfect Cesc Fabregas assist.
“For the second goal you have to hold your hands up sometimes,” Dyche said.
“Even when you prepare for a team like that, they can still go harder than what you maybe thought they could. That’s maybe one of the learning curves.
“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We know it’s a tough marathon, there will be some bumps along the way.
“But I don’t think you can class that game as a bump.”
Dyche reserved praise for goalscorer Arfield, who struck from 15 yards on his Premier League debut.
“It’s a fantastic journey Scott’s on,” Dyche said.
“To think we plucked him out of Huddersfield on a free transfer when arguably he was looking down the barrel of League One.
“We got him in last season and he was fantastic for us, we know he’s got a goal in him and I thought he was excellent all game.”
The Clarets are still looking to add to their squad, although Nottingham Forest boss Stuart Pearce has said this week that he believes Burnley target Henri Lansbury is close to signing a new deal to commit his future to the Championship club.
Another target, defender Craig Dawson, started for West Bromwich Albion in their opening game of the season on Saturday.
With Burnley new boy Stephen Ward not signed in time to make his debut against Chelsea, Dyche handed a place on the bench to 18-year-old Northern Irish defender Cameron Dummigan.
“I’ve mentioned many times we need to build a squad, it doesn’t just have to be a starting 11, we need competition within the squad,” Dyche said.
“We’re carrying light numbers, Cameron Dummigan got a taste of it, he’s a young player who’s developing for us.
“We definitely need strength in depth, we are attempting to get things over the line, it’s just not that easy.”