The players know the next one is the most important
Stoke travel to Burnley tonight which brings former Blackburn Rovers manager Mark Hughes back to Turf Moor at a time when things are not as good as they might have expected.
The team were involved in altercations with supporters on the way home from Saturday’s defeat at Tottenham, which Hughes has not shied away from, but he remains very positive. Speaking ahead of the game he said: “I think if we win our next two games we could be in the top half of the table and that pressure and noise will go away.
“The only way pressure on teams, managers and players dissipates is by winning games. It’s a simple formula; you’ve just got to win more games and if you do that the pressure goes away and goes somewhere else.”
“Sean has had a lot of plaudits and rightly so this season. Burnley have a set way of playing and they’ve been lucky with injuries; it’s only in the last couple of weeks that they’ve had to change a settled back four.
“That continuity of selection and personnel helps with the level of performance and they’ve backed that up with good results, certainly on the road and they continue to pick up good points at home as well. It’s working for them and credit to them. They are in a great position and we’ll have to go there and play better than we did at the weekend.”
A win tonight would see Burnley, albeit temporarily, move up to fourth in the table. Looking at that, Dyche said yesterday: “I have said recently I thought we could improve from last season as a squad. Then I thought that the squad would improve the way we could find results.
“To be where we are, I don’t think anyone thought that. It’s not a negative thing, I’ve got to be realistic. The players know I build on reality. What we’re doing is fantastic, but now we open our minds and challenge ourselves for the next game.
“We are not changing our whole thinking. We know the complexities of the Premier League. I have learned a lot about it in the seasons we’ve been here and the players have as well. They know you can’t take anything for granted. The fans can enjoy it and I’m sure they do enjoy looking at the league, but the players know the next one is the most important.”
Dyche added: ““The maturity and experience of the players is growing. We are not talking about guaranteeing anything but enhancing your chances to win games. And win them on a more regular basis. I think that is the change.
“Their game awareness is definitely improving and their game management of the Premier League, backed up by a strong mentality and physicality. It’s always been a side which are willing to work and none of my sides have never not been willing to do a shift. If you get all that together, confidence can come from that and, obviously, results build that mentality and enhance it.
“The Premier League is a tough place to be, and it’s the players delivering; if you do take a knock, then making sense of it and parking it quickly to get it ready for the next game. We have done that well so far.”Share this page :