Burnley boss Sean Dyche impressed with Norwich’s start to life back in the Premier League

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Johann Berg Gudmundsson of Burnley and Morgan Gibbs-White of Wolverhampton Wanderers clash for a header during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley FC at Molineux on August 25, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Johann Berg Gudmundsson of Burnley and Morgan Gibbs-White of Wolverhampton Wanderers clash for a header during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley FC at Molineux on August 25, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Sean Dyche has been impressed by the way Norwich City have adapted to life in the Premier League.

But he points out that to maintain that over 38-game season is a tougher proposition altogether.

The Championship winners have six points from the opening five games, courtesy of home wins over Newcastle United and the stunning 3-2 triumph over champions Manchester City on Saturday.

Finland international striker Teemu Pukki has also taken to life in the top flight, with six goals, including a hat-trick against Newcastle – having been the Championship’s top-scorer with 29 goals last season.

Dyche said: “We saw how well they acquitted themselves against Man City, and they are taking it on, playing with a lot of freedom.

“That’s what we do in theory, roll up and take it on at this level, but it’s not always that easy or practical.

“But they deserve to be in the Premier League and the players will know what to expect from them.

“Pukki is scoring some really good goals, clever goals, and he’s hit the ground running.

“But we’ve experienced it in the past at this level, the story of a season isn’t the first five games, the challenge is to maintain those standards over the full season, that’s the real test.”

The last time Burnley beat a Big Six side was back in February, when the Clarets enjoyed a 2-1 win over Spurs at Turf Moor.

That was followed up by a disappointing display in a 2-0 reverse at Newcastle, so might tomorrow be a case of After the Lord Mayor’s Show for Norwich?: “I hope it’s tough for them!

“But, win, lose or draw, the next game is always the most important, you can’t live on what has gone before.

“We’ll be looking to perform better than we did in the second half at Brighton, which is the only time we’ve really come off our performance.

“We kept going though, scored a fine goal, and we want to keep that focus more consistently.”

Dyche will check on the fitness of winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who has missed the last two games after coming off against Wolves at Molineux a month ago with a calf niggle.

But midfielder Danny Drinkwater remains unavailable.

Dyche said: “Johann has had a few days with the physio last week and this week, and he’s making good progress.

“He seemed happy with it, but we’ll wait and see.

“Drinky’s not back out on the grass in full training yet, and he then has to play a bit of catch up. He will need a game as well.

“When the physio says he’s injury free, then we can step up up with the sports science and begin joining in with the group.

“But everyone else is okay, Robbie Brady has been good.”

Ali Koiki scored a hat-trick for the Under 23s in a 3-1 win over Ipswich Town at Curzon Ashton on Monday, but, having scored for the fitrst team at Fleetwood Town in pre-season, Dyche admits he is still working towards the goal of linking up with his squad, rather than knocking on the door right now: “Ali is maturing, but he’s not there yet for us. He’s finding a bit of form, after an up and down pre-season with us, but he’s settling down now and we want him to continue.”