Our focus is on delivering performances
West Ham are back at Turf Moor tomorrow which gives manager Slaven Bilic a third game against us having won the first two with West Ham completing the double over us last season.
Bilic admitted yesterday that he had a lot of options in terms of team selection but was quick to point out: “It’s not a headache. OK, it’s another issue to use them all or to keep them all happy but if you’re talking about in the long term, it’s always an issue, but it’s good finally to be in the position where we have, in those attacking and offensive midfield positions, your whole team.
“I said to my staff that I’m not saying they’re all going to play, because that’s impossible, but this is the first time that basically we have the possibility to put out the team we were thinking about in the pre-season that is, on paper, our strongest team. We’re going to probably be in the situation to have that option.”
Bilic went on: “Burnley are doing extremely well home and away. Last year they were a little bit too cautious, within reason, because they were promoted and then they were relegated the year after and it wasn’t ages ago.
“Does that surprise me? Yes, it did, of course, especially their away form because last year I think they waited until March or whenever to beat Palace away and get that first away win. Now, if you don’t mention them and ask “Which team has beaten Chelsea and Everton and drew against Spurs and Liverpool?’ you would say Manchester United or Manchester City and not Burnley or West Ham.
“They did well last season, have confidence, they have changed some players and are playing with more bravery and more freedom when they have the ball, but they didn’t lose the steeliness and compactness that is still the core of their philosophy. They are a good team and all the credit and plaudits go to Sean Dyche.”
As for Sean Dyche, his Burnley team currently sit sixth in the Premier League. “It would be unrealistic for me to say that we knew it was going to happen because we didn’t,” he said.
“We’ve made a very good start, certainly a solid start. A lot was made last season of our away record. That story’s gone for this season I would imagine, possibly not, but certainly so far and we’ve been solid enough at home. I think there’s loads of work to be done because it’s such an unforgiving league but I think to get off to the start that we have is very pleasing.”
The run of away results has prompted some to question our home form and when asked if we needed to get it back to where it was last season, he said: “It’s not about getting back to it, we haven’t come far away from it. We’ve delivered good performances. It’s still early in the season.
“Last season I made it clear, points are points wherever they come from. It’s helpful if it’s at home purely for the fact that your home fans want to see the team win but if your points come away from home and not as many at home that’s the way it goes.
“The story’s over a season, I’m a great believer in that. You can only take one game at a time, one step at a time but it’s over a season and wherever the points come from we’ll take them gladly. We’ve had to work hard for everything we’ve got in the past and we are going to have to in the future.”
The return home means West Ham. Dyche said of them: “Like a lot of teams, they want to get started. They’ve managed to get their win which seems to calm everything down.
“I think they’re a good side. They’ve certainly got some good individuals within the side and there’s just a bit of added expectation at clubs like West Ham than ourselves, but that’s for them to worry about. our focus is on delivering performances. We’ve done that well so far, another tough challenge awaits us and we look forward to it.Share this page :