I still think we are doing a lot of things right
Burnley travel to Liverpool tonight and a ninth game against their manager Jürgen Klopp who is now the Premier League’s second longest serving manager.
Ahead of tonight’s game he finds his team in fourth place in the Premier League some six points behind the leaders and he knows they have to start winning games again.
“We have to earn the right to win through our commitment. This is what we are all about and I look forward to seeing my boys embrace this challenge,” he said. “We come into the game with some focus on our recent form and I am fine with this. It is absolutely OK for those questions to be asked. When you are blessed to work at this club you know each and every performance brings close scrutiny. This level of interest in us is a privilege and it’s a pressure we should embrace.
“I have faced legitimate questions since the Christmas period which were often framed about ‘getting back to what we were previously’. I maybe have used this phrase myself, I wouldn’t be sure without checking. But really that isn’t the solution. The mindset for us should always be about looking ahead and not backwards. Simply reverting to what has gone before, no matter how good it was, won’t be enough in a league as competitive as this one.
“We have some basic principles in how we approach our work and we must adhere to those. They include being brave, showing humility by aiming to work harder than your opponent, bringing the intensity in each moment and sacrificing for the team. These, plus other, guiding practices, are still very much embedded into our environment.
“This team finds a way. It has done consistently for us in recent seasons and it will do now and again in the future. We are in a tough moment, no-one hides from this, but we view it as an opportunity. Another challenge to be met.”
Klopp added in tonight’s match programme: “I’m conscious what people say, ‘You know you are in for a tough game against Burnley’ that it doesn’t do justice to what a tremendous job Sean and his guys have done over there over a sustained period of time.
“Yes, it’s true no game against Burnley is easy, but they are far more than just a stubborn, belligerent obstacle. They are a proper team and a proper threat. We see this every time we play them and when we analyse what they do.
“I think I have said before in these match day columns that Sean’s achievements at Turf Moor haven’t been appropriately recognised in some places, but within the game itself and certainly among other managers and coaches it is. They will come to Anfield with belief and confidence, and we must be ready. We must also respect their many strengths and ensure we focus on working hard and battling more than they do.”
Ahead of the trip to Anfield, Sean Dyche admitted: “Games like this are always a challenge, in my experience. Not just Anfield, but some are more statistically harder than others.
“There’s a little bit of soft noise around Liverpool about whether they are scoring as freely, but they are missing a few players who have become massive for them and they are still a very, very good outfit and can put players in positions who are more than capable of doing the job. We understand the challenges and the things you have to try and achieve to get a result.
“In defence of that, it’s a short while ago that we went to Anfield and took a deserved point with a very good performance. I didn’t think Liverpool delivered a poor performance that day and if you remember they were going for a record points total. We had to defend right and work hard and in the final 15 minutes of the game we’d quelled it enough to find our moments and we hit the bar later on as we looked to nick it. This is what you often have to do at places like Anfield; you have to stay in the game, find a way and work for the little chances that you get.”
Dyche added: “It’s hard keeping clean sheets, but equally it’s hard scoring and we have to look at the bigger picture. I still think we are doing a lot of things right and although we know we have to add to the effectiveness in the final third, there are a lot of things that are going in the right way.
“Our points return since our slow start is a very healthy one, especially when you consider the teams we have played. We’re not a million miles away and when you get the details right, the belief comes back and that’s an important factor.”Share this page :