Turf Moor chief Sean Dyche feels the Clarets have enough clout to give the cup competitions a really good go this term

Burnley boss Sean Dyche gives the 'thumbs up'
Burnley boss Sean Dyche gives the 'thumbs up'

Burnley boss Sean Dyche believes the squad that he's carrying now packs enough punch to give the cup competitions a real go this season.

The Premier League has and always will be the bread and butter for the Clarets, but Dyche accepts that his group can now handle the additional ties more diligently.

Wholesale changes are likely to be made when Sunderland are the visitors to Turf Moor in the Carabao Cup, though that doesn't suggest in the slightest that the club isn't taking it seriously.

The likes of Joe Hart, Phil Bardsley, Ben Gibson, Kevin Long, Charlie Taylor, Jeff Hendrick, Aaron Lennon, Jay Rodriguez, Matej Vydra and Danny Drinkwater will all be vying for their first start of the campaign while Steven Defour and Robbie Brady will add to those numbers when returning to full fitness.

It's as competitive a squad as Dyche has possessed during his tenure at Turf Moor with the aforementioned names, those who are available for selection, owning 199 international caps between them.

"In recent seasons the focus has been on the Premier League, almost total focus, because it means so much to this club, the team and the town," said Dyche.

"The focus is still on the Premier League, I make no bones about it, but I think we have a more competitive squad now.

"I believe the squad can handle these games, but I have been around the game long enough to know that if you don't perform you don't get what you want.

"The players know that, they have to perform and the mentality has to be right to win these games.

"So many times there is one team you look at and think that team is good enough to win that game and they don't.

"That must be down to the psychology so mentally you have to be right and if you do that and perform then you heighten your chances of winning and getting through."

Four sides - Cardiff City, Norwich City, Crystal Palace and Millwall - were dumped out of the competition by lower league opposition on Tuesday evening.

However, Dyche has no intention of joining them and is determined to join Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United in the hat for the third round.

"There is no other thought than winning the game, we want to win the game," he said. "We know the feeling from last year when it didn't go our way and that is not the feeling you want. We are working to do better than last season, in all areas of the club.

"The noise around the cups is not what it once was. I still respect them, but we have squads and a squad demand. The Premier League is very important and we want all of our players fit and well.

"But whatever way you look at it you want to do well in the cups, in every competition, or I certainly do.

"For us, me, the staff and I believe the players, we want to make sure we deliver."

Burnley's best run in the League Cup under Dyche came in his first full season in charge as they saw off York City, Preston North End and Nottingham Forest to reach the fourth round.

They were one shy of the quarter-finals in the FA Cup in 2016/17 when Lincoln City inflicted an upset at Turf Moor. They'd beaten Sunderland in a third round replay that term.

Dyche said: "I think the way the group works, they should all know the demands of how we play and when we do make changes the idea is that people can fit, in an ideal world, seamlessly, but it is not that easy. We believe in the players so the team that we put out is one I believe can win.

"We want the players to be hungry and laying down performances. We want them to look at me and the staff and say 'look at me I am ready, look at my performances.'

"The other thing is then say, for example, Johann [Berg Gudmundsson] doesn't make the weekend then there is a slot there so you should really, if you are a wide player, be thinking I want to perform because I want to be playing.

"I think these games are important for players, other than to win, to make sure they are showing they are ready to play.

"We want a winning mentality and the biggest thing to build that is by getting results. We want to take a result."