Sean Dyche has moved to clarify his position on his future as Burnley manager.
Some reports suggested Dyche had been “evasive” when asked whether he would be at the club next season in the immediate aftermath of the Clarets’ relegation from the Premier League at Hull City on Saturday.
Dyche said: “There’s a desire to get through today, go back home, see my family and make sense of everything.
“We’ll see, that’s another day’s story.”
That prompted speculation that he could leave Turf Moor, but Dyche set things straight: “I think the media has a job to do – people are looking for a different story, but the story was we had just been relegated.
“I just thought it was irrelevant in that moment – I was irked by the fact I was asked about my future 10 minutes after coming out of the Premier League.
I was irked by the fact I was asked about my future 10 minutes after coming out of the Premier LeagueSean Dyche
“I am not bigger than the club – I am a custodian, whose job it is to look after the club and take it forward.
“It was a bad day for the club.
“I must make it clear, for anyone trying to read into my words, I did a piece with Alastair Campbell recently and said the same thing as regards my future – I am focused on the club.
“After the season, we will have a chat about the way forward and take it from there, that’s how this business works.
“I feel I understand the media more after this season, but it was an inappropriate time to speak about my future.”
Dyche will speak to the board and chief executive Lee Hoos about plotting a path back to the Premier League, once the final two games of the season are played, with Saturday’s visit of Stoke City followed by a trip to FA Cup finalists Aston Villa a week on Sunday.
And he added: “In the summer we will be chatting, as soon as the season is over.
“We have a little window to start getting more advanced in our ideas, because we know which league we will be in next season, but we still have a job to do to try and win the last two games.”
Last year’s merit payments, for league placing, differed by over £1m per place, and, while relegation is confirmed, Dyche is eager to win as many points as possible: “It’s been strange – disappointing because we didn’t want it to go this way, but there is the clarity in that it wasn’t for the lack of effort, will or demand, so there’s a balance with that.
“No one is broken by it, a bit deflated, because we believed we could do it.
“There’ll be no change in our mentality – we went to Hull in a real pressure game and delivered a performance to win, and our thought remains to win games.
“The financial reward has to be in the back of everyone’s mind – it’s the reality of the business at this level – so we want to finish as high as we can.”
Burnley completed their first double of the season over Hull, and go in search of another against Stoke, though Dyche admitted: “There are games we have felt we could have got over the line, but on the other hand, the one at Stoke, we had to give everything to get over the line.
“They have had a very good season and are certainly not easing off – I don’t think they or their manager does that.
“At home, in front of our own supporters, we want to get that win for them.”
Striker Sam Vokes is expected to return to the squad after missing the last three games with a thigh problem.
Dyche said: “Sam’s had a good few days back training, and I can’t see any reason why he won’t be back in the reckoing at the weekend.
“Everyone else is okay, and the longer term lads Dean Marney and Kevin Long are both making good progress.”