Dyche named Premier League manager of the month
Clarets boss Sean Dyche has been named Premier League manager of the month for March - the first time the club have won the award.
Burnley won all three games last month, beating Everton 2-1 at Turf Moor, before winning 3-0 at West Ham and 2-1 at West Brom.
They added a fourth-successive win at Watford last Saturday, which didn’t contribute to the award, but maintained their excellent form - on the back of 11 league games without a win.
Burnley beat Stoke City to go fourth for 24 hours in December, and had to wait until the start of March for their next win against the Toffees.
Dyche always felt performances were good during that winless run and would bring results, and he said of the accolade: “It’s a sign of the players, the staff as well, the players want to go out there and perform, and I think it’s more pleasing in a sense that, no so much my first period at Burnley, in my first half season, but after that, we were very strong in the Championship, so you might have a strong chance of getting a manager of the month during those periods.
“But in the Premier League, it’s very difficult to win that, so fantastic, on behalf of my staff and the players.
“It takes the group to perform in that manner, and I think the three away games, that is a big, big thing in the Premier League, for any club, certainly clubs like ourselves, to win three games away on the trot.”
Looking back at the run without a win, he added: “Along that time, I wasn’t trying to generalise, I thought some of the performances deserved more, but to think those performances are going to get you four wins on the trot...that’s a different thing.
“But if performances stay consistently high, at some point I think you will win games.
“I’ve been very pleased over the season with the players, not just the XI, the squad.
“It’s been a really strong month, with some very good performances. Watford was slightly off it compared to the others, but other than that we deserved all three victories in March.”
Burnley have been no lower than seventh in the table since week 10 of the season, and Dyche hailed the strong mentality of his players: “I think last season, we never really looked in trouble. We had a little wobble towards the end, but that can happen, when someone gets a result, you don’t and it looks different.
“Eventually we were pretty secure.
“And this season, especially when we went fourth, people thought it would be downhill from there, and I’ve been really pleased the mentality has stayed so strong to make sure we stay up and around it.
“I think that’s another sign of how the group continues to improve.”
There is a perception that tomorrow’s opponents Leicester come to Burnley in patchy form, having won four of 15 league games, but Burnley’s run is identical, and Dyche mused: “A twist on reality can make it look different, and managers do it as well, I recently did it, with good reason. A lot was said about not winning, but we’ve only lost one in eight, so where does that live?
“That goes back into the run of 11 without a win, so where does it start, where does it finish, and how many do you include in a run?
“How many relevant games are there in any given run?
“Some talk in cycles, some managers even, if we can get this many points etc, but, for me, everyone will have a different view on when a run starts and ends.
“Often the perception and twists on it are put out there to make a story.”