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Burnley face Liverpool tomorrow at Anfield and come up against their manager Jürgen Klopp who is on an unbeaten run of six games against us since we beat them 2-0 early in the 2016/17 season.

Klopp has been very successful, I think it is fair to say, but he has been quick ahead of this game to say some very positive things about our manager and club. He said: “What an incredible job Sean has done again this season. My respect and admiration could not be higher.

“I know from my own experiences that operating in the top flight of a hugely competitive league, with limited budget and resources, is a massive challenge and tests all your skills as a coach and leader.

“Each season I am here in England, Burnley progresses and probably now some people don’t give this the credit it deserves. I look at the league table and where they are and I think ‘another miracle performed’. Sean and Burnley are a real success story in the Premier League.

“I think I have said before, as opponents, as managers, we don’t really know each other. We meet a couple of times a season when we play against each other, and occasionally at league (managers) meetings. On the touchline you probably think we do not like each other, but that is the heat of battle. Away from there – wow – what I think about him is highest level.

“During the pandemic we had a number of the Zoom meetings as managers and I really love Sean’s personality and humour. You can see why his players give their all for him. For me Burnley are one of the teams of this season and I hope they get the recognition they deserve, because inside the game, among managers and coaches and players, the respect could not be greater for them as a team.”

Sean Dyche, something of a Liverpool fan himself some years ago, appreciates how difficult the task could be tomorrow. “It will take maximum performance, focus and game understanding and hopefully they will have a quieter day because when they turn up it is very difficult.

“Even with the power of the players and the manager they have got it, it is very difficult to win the Premier League. It is difficult to win titles or get promotions. I have absolute respect for the manner and style in which they have achieved it.”

With a quick turn round since Wednesday, Dyche has had some words for players who weren’t in the team prior to lockdown and that includes latest signing Josh Brownhill. “We’ve kind of thrown him in at the deep end,” Dyche said. “We were hoping to get him some football this season to ease him into what we do. He has certainly had a good training period with us before and after lockdown, but I think he’s done very well, and Erik Pieters has been a shining example of the professional he is.

“Whatever we ask him he gets on with it. Not that I ever doubted that, but it’s different throwing him in left side, right side. He just delivers performances. And Kevin Long has come in again and delivered a couple of big performances.

“I wouldn’t say I was surprised like I didn’t know it was there, but it’s pleasing to see the work they put in on the training field, even if they’re not selected every week, pays them back when it’s time to play. I’ve been really pleased with that.”

Dyche has brought on Chris Wood in each of the last two games but Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, apart from a stoppage time appearance against Sheffield United, and Robbie Brady haven’t been used since all three returned from injury two games ago.

The manager wants to use them but will maybe continue with the small number of substitutions we’ve used so far, the lowest in the league. “If you need to change you change, which we’ve had to do due to injury, and if we need to change games we will do when we think it’s appropriate,” he said. “There’s a modern clamour to make substitutions. I think my record is pretty strong, although I don’t make many. It’s making effective substitutions, not just making them for the sake of it.

“We have managed to blend Woody into the last couple of games. We’d be hoping to do that with Jόhann and Robbie too. At some point we do need these guys playing. It is more difficult in tight games. When the team is operating, I tend to leave it along, if you look at my history.

“When the team is operating I pick that team for a reason, so I believe it’s going to operate throughout a game so it will depend on that as well, how the game is going to how much game time we can give to those players.”

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