Burnley are showing “unbelievable” mental and physical fitness as they combine their European exploits with life in the Premier League.
The Clarets are unbeaten in five competitive games so far this season, and last week travelled 5,000 miles and came away with goalless draws with Istanbul Başakşehir and Southampton, besides returning to Turf Moor to knock the Turkish Superlig side out of the Europa League in extra time - after also coming through an additional 30 minutes a fortnight ago to send Aberdeen packing.
Burnley’s physical statistics have been impressive since Sean Dyche arrived at the club, but he has been impressed by the lengths his group are currently going to.
He said ahead of Sunday’s visit of Watford: “The fitness side of things, we were always high on that. The mental motivation is already there and it has been for a long time, and the group demand is there.
“They’re all things that count, the rest of it outside the camp is all noise. It’s about your own team’s focus, the ability to drive forward no matter what’s put in front of them and I think we’re good at that.
“I’ll be going into Sunday believing these players will go again. They’ll play hard and do what they need to do to try and win a game.”
The Premier League remains the main priority, but Dyche feels his players have shown they want to go as far as they can in the Europa League as well: “It’s certainly the key focus. The demands of being in the Premier League are very difficult but alongside that you’ve seen the way the players went about it. There’s a desire to win games.
“The will and demand is still a valid thing to have and we’ve got that in abundance and we showed that again, no matter what team we put out there.
“They will be ready.
“The fitness here is unbelievable, the players’ mental and physical fitness is absolutely fantastic so they’ll be ready for Sunday.”
Have the fitness levels improved again?: “Statistically it has been very high since I’ve been here, once I got my own group in the first summer. If you add in then a bit more know-how, what you know of the individual, awareness of what it is to be in the Premier League, and a team awareness, then that bodes well. But as we saw last season different teams have struggled here.
“But there are no gimme situations, we have to work for everything, as we’re prepared to do.”
Being at home for both games this week is a bonus after last week, and the week to come: “Two home games back to back rather than two away games gives better recovery time and better sleep time. That can only help a bit, but yet again we don’t rely on that. We’ll have to be focused on Sunday.
“It was interesting Watford were 4-4-2 last week. Is anyone allowed to play that? I don’t know!
“Andre and Troy two very good players and players I know well up front, and they had a very good afternoon (last weekend). They played well. Another side like ourselves and a few others who are looking to develop season on season and try to affect games in a different manner each season to secure what they want.”