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1213 burnley sean dyche 04 1000Tuesday 30th October 2012 was a day that Burnley Football Club changed. Eddie Howe had returned to Bournemouth earlier in the month and been replaced with the gravel voiced Sean Dyche whose experience as a manager had been one full season at Watford in 2011/12.

If you go back and watch that press conference now, if you listen to his early interviews, he explained how he would like things to develop at Burnley. He’s never wavered from this in six years and I don’t think many of us imagined that he’d still be with us today.

Six years is a long time for any manager to be at one club. Only Jim Bentley (Morecambe), Gareth Ainsworth (Wycombe), Neal Ardley (AFC Wimbledon) and Howe have been in their current jobs longer than Sean and three of those four were appointed in the five weeks previous to Sean arriving at Turf Moor.

It really is a long time. Six years prior to his appointment, we were third in the Championship, behind Cardiff and Preston. Steve Cotterill was just about to move into his last year at the club and all of Owen Coyle, Brian Laws and Howe followed.

On his fifth anniversary a year ago, we beat Newcastle 1-0 with a goal from Jeff Hendrick, a result that moved us up two places to seventh in the Premier League. In five years, he’d stabilised things, taken us up, down and back up again and was enjoying a second successive season in the Premier League, the first time we’d spent successive seasons in the top flight since the mid-1970s. He’d also been at the helm for four wins in four games against Blackburn, three in the league and one in the League Cup. No Burnley manager since Harry Potts had tasted  victory against our local rivals.

1718 burnley sean dyche 01 500x500The last year, overall, has seen us pick up 46 points from 38 Premier League games. It’s also seen us go out of the two domestic cup competitions at the first time of asking, so no change there, and then, of course, was our ever so brief excursion into Europe with six games in a five week period in July and August.

I know that doesn’t tell the full story. We’ve won twelve games in the Premier League since that victory against Newcastle with five of them coming in the next seven games. We then went on a long run without a win before winning five on the bounce. Another difficult run followed, one which ended with a 4-0 victory against Bournemouth and a 2-1 win at Cardiff although since then we’ve only drawn with lowly Huddersfield and taken two hammerings against two teams currently riding high in the league and unbeaten, they being a 5-0 loss at Manchester City followed by Sunday’s 4-0 home defeat against Chelsea.

There has been the usual overreaction, naturally, with some even calling for Dyche’s head. It’s modern football I’m afraid. Impatient fans take to social media at the drop of a hat when things aren’t perfect and often want the manager out without any thought for what he might have achieved or how the club has progressed.

I laughed last week when Paul Hurst was sacked by Ipswich. I’ve nothing against Hurst and didn’t find it funny that they’d sacked him after just 14 games in charge. What was funny was the fact that the Ipswich fans had gone to war with their previous manager Mick McCarthy and just about forced him out of the club. Now they’ve got Paul Lambert, a former Norwich boss.

Right now it’s not perfect at Burnley. Stan Ternent’s blind man, if he’s still on his galloping horse, will be able to see that. It seems, for some, that the answer to that is to abuse some of the players, and we certainly saw that last Sunday, while demanding a change of manager. It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. I know people pay their money but we’ve now got a ground with absolutely no positive atmosphere from start to finish and the only thing you hear is the negativity.

I think today is an opportunity to thank our manager for the fantastic job he’s done. It’s not just about winning at Ewood, albeit all three occasions were brilliant, it’s not just about getting into Europe, even though it didn’t last anywhere near long enough. It’s more about how our club has improved in so many aspects under his management.

Things could, should and have to improve. A very visible recent example was the mess we made of the transfer window. For the first time I sensed real frustration from the manager who has admitted that we fell three players short. I think we all know that one of those three was former Claret Jay Rodriguez, it would be interesting to know who the other two were. Hopefully, the appointment of a technical director will go some way to improving things in the transfer windows to come.

As for Sean Dyche, I hope I’ll be reporting one year from now at the end of his seventh season as manager and with us still in the Premier League. We couldn’t have made a better appointment six years ago.

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