The visit of Newcastle United to Turf Moor on Monday evening will mean more than most Premier League fixtures to Burnley manager Sean Dyche. The contest marks five years in charge for the 46-year old, although the progress his side have made in that time has "surprised" him.
The ups and downs in the top flight
Talking to the Burnley official website on the eve of the milestone, Dyche admitted, “I thought we could plan and move forward, but probably not so quickly to the level it’s got and everything that has brought" after his side gained promotion back to the top flight two seasons ago."
It was that season in the Championship that will be one to remember for the former central defender. He explained, "to come down and go back up again is a marvellous achievement. And to do it in the fashion we did, 23 games unbeaten to take the title, is something I will reflect on in many years to come."
Burnley were relegated after their first season in the Premier League and Dyche claimed, "it was a big challenge first time around, we had to reorganise the club off the pitch while trying to have a go at it [Premier League]."
Organisation proves key
Yet Dyche is used to changing numerous aspects at Burnley. He explained, "when I got here [five years ago] it was more a case of a club coming back into control financially after two or three seasons. There was a lot of trimming to be done and a lot of reorganising".
However, the passionate manager was buoyed by the foundations at Turf Moor. "I thought there was some good work when I first got here in other departments, with the sports science side of things, the analysis side of things, strength and conditioning, some of the planning for games that me and my staff put in."
That was to lead to the first of two promotions to the Premier League. “You get the first promotion against all odds really, after a fine season and a group of players who were amazing for us."