BLACKBURN Rovers manager Gary Bowyer has hailed Sean Dyche for the ‘magnificent’ job he has done at bitter rivals Burnley ahead of tomorrow’s East Lancashire derby at Ewood Park.
Dyche has led the Clarets to second spot in the Championship in his first full campaign in charge after securing an 11th-placed finish in 2012/13.
Bowyer believes his former Nottingham Forest team-mate is benefiting from being given the time to mould his team and the fact he has been able to name a settled side throughout this season.
“I think they are reaping the rewards of consolidating last season and then kicking on this season,” said Bowyer, who also played with Dyche’s assistant manager Ian Woan and coach Tony Loughlan at Forest.
“You look at the number of players who have played over 30 games for them and it’s been impressive, so they’ve had the luck with the injuries.
“But Sean has done a magnificent job – and not just him but his staff as well, Ian Woan and Tony Loughlan, who I know well.
“They deserve all the plaudits for building Burnley up.”
Dyche is set to name an unchanged line-up for the eighth successive game tomorrow.
Bowyer does not have that luxury with Matt Kilgallon, having come off with a groin strain in last Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers, his latest concern.
But when asked if he was envious of Dyche’s fully-fit squad, he said: “Obviously everyone in football would like that as it’s a nice place to be.
“But like I said after Saturday’s game we’re not using our injury record as an excuse for our inept performance last week.”
Bowyer does admit, however, that the injury problems that have dogged Rovers throughout the season have had an impact.
He said: “Our total count last week was seven missing and they were big and important players for us.
“You look at our injuries throughout the season and while it’s not an excuse, it does take its toll as our squad, contrary to reports, is not one of the biggest.”
Kilgallon’s injury led Rovers to signing young Manchester United centre-back Michael Keane on loan.
Bowyer has no doubts the 21-year-old, who has had experience of the Championship with Leicester City and Derby County, will cope with being thrown straight into a derby.
“It won’t faze him at all,” said Bowyer.
“He’s a good footballer, a good age and he will only get better.”