Sean Dyche’s respect for former Burnley boss Stan Ternent as he prepares to go fourth in all-time list

Stan Ternent
Stan Ternent

In the modern history of Burnley Football Club, two men stand head and shoulders above the rest.

After years of decline, following relegation from the top flight in 1976, and a brief recovery under Jimmy Mullen in the early 1990s, the club were in danger of slipping back into the basement division.

Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche

Stan Ternent took over in 1998, and steered the ship back in the right direction, winning promotion back to the First Division in 2000, and keeping them there, before leaving at the end of his contract in 2004.

Burnley have never been below the second tier since.

Sean Dyche took the reins in 2012, and is now enjoying a fifth Premier League season in six, having earned a return to European competition for the first time in 51 years, and a best top flight finish in 43 years.

The pair have become close since Dyche arrived in East Lancashire, and, tomorrow, Dyche moves past Ternent, as he takes charge of his 313th game as Burnley boss.

Only legendary Championship winner Harry Potts, with 728 games from his two spells, and the pre-War duo of John Haworth (464) and Albert Pickles (336), will have been at the helm for more games than Dyche.

Dyche doesn’t always stop to think about landmarks, but this one he is proud of: “Beat Stan, delighted...I don’t overthink all the historic markers we’ve had, but I do that one because it’s not easy.

“I’m certainly proud of that, in modern football now, the change around in managers, the demand, it’s all out there for everyone to see.

“It is a hard balance to find, to keep being successful enough, in our case, staying in the Premier League most people would judge us by, and all the different things that have come along in all the time I’ve been here.

“It’s not just the Premier League - the building of a club, the change of youth systems, change of financial systems, progress at the ground, all of those things, not all done by me, but I’ve had a fair say in all of it, and I’m really proud of all of that, not just being in the Premier League.

“There’s a lot more to it.”

Dyche has embraced the fact a legendary former manager is close to hand, still living in the area, and he loves to pick his brains: “I speak to Stan, I probably don’t see him enough because of my time here, but I enjoy his company, he comes down here now and again and knows he’s forever welcome.

“I talk to him on the phone as well, stuff like that.

“He’s had a very tough couple of years, personally, as everyone knows, but he’s a great fellow, endless stories, and old school in a good way - I don’t mean in his career as a manager, I love speaking to the old managers, a font of knowledge, some great stories, and you can pick up some great things from them.

“I enjoy that.”

Asked whether there are any similarities, Dyche smiled: “I don’t think so! It’s fair to say he’s a character, and he still is. I know he wanted to win, and I don’t lack that.”

Dyche often came up against Ternent’s Burnley sides while with Millwall and Watford, and Dyche added: “I played against his teams, I know a few of the lads who worked under him, but I played against them, and in a not wealthy period, they built a good side.

“I think the biggest signing was Steve Davis, I only know that because I replaced him on loan at Luton from Bristol City!

“He moved up here for a few quid, great player, great signing.

“That was when Stan was building, and they got promoted and had a good go at it, finished seventh - an achievement in itself.

“But I have a lot of respect for Stan.”

Dyche is the fourth longest-serving manager in English football, behind Morecambe’s Jim Bentley, Wycombe’s Gareth Ainsworth and Dyche’s predecessor at Turf Moor, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.