The big thing for me is that mental preparation
Burnley travel to face Leicester tomorrow and will come face to face with their bell ringing Italian manager Claudio Ranieri.
His press conferences became legendary last season, his first at Leicester after replacing the distasteful Nigel Pearson, as he took Leicester to the top of the league and kept them there right until the end of the season.
I’m not sure at what point the bell ringing came in but he’s reminded his players that it is back to the Premier League now after their debut in the Champions League this week. He has told his players they will get a blast of dilly ding dilly dong if he needs to grab their attention.
“The problem is if someone is thinking of the (Champions League) music, then I ring my bell,” Ranieri said. “If they think about the music then I ring my bell.” He did admit that he thought Riyad Mahrez had been spurred into his best performance of the season against Bruges because of the Champions League music but said he wouldn’t get the bell. “No, I put headphones on him,” the Italian said.
“We have to put the Champions League to one side and think what will happen tomorrow,” he added. “We are in the middle of the table and we want to improve. Our next opponent is not so easy but we want to win. They (the players) told me they are OK and they have to show me this on the pitch.”
Sean Dyche had plenty to say about Leicester and their achievements. He said: “It was absolutely fantastic from them last season in many different ways.
“It’s sure to be a tough game down there. It always is a tough game down there but particularly, you know they’ve got that little more assuredness now after being champions and playing in the Champions League so we’ve got to make sure we’re certainly ready to play.
“The big thing for me is that mental preparation, knowing it’s a big task to go to some of these clubs away from home but having that assuredness about what we do, so that’s part of our growth, moving forwards as a team.”
Leicester are just below us in the table but asked if that was a hangover from last season, he added: “I don’t think there’s been a hangover necessarily, I think the fact is it is a tough league. I think there was a situation last year, it was amazing what Leicester did, I enjoyed watching it, was thrilled by their football, the way they went about it, the way the manager went about it. I can’t say enough good things.
“Behind that I did say last season, in my opinion, that the superpower clubs will become the superpowers again. I think it was a strange league last year in the Premier League. It was up and down, the historical powerful clubs weren’t really like that but fantastic credit to Leicester for seeing that gap and taking it and gripping it wholeheartedly.
“I’m not doing them down but I just think this season will be tougher in a way because even though they are champions, there is that strange thing that about ‘we’ve got to go and do it all again’, and that’s a different mentality but also the thought that everyone else is back. It seems they’ve had big starts some of these clubs but Leicester are no mugs, that’s for sure, they’re a good side.”
The three latest signings, Steven Defour, who made his third appearance against Hull and both Jeff Hendrick and Patrick Bamford, who debuted in the game as substitutes, have had another week working with the squad.
“We need that time, and next week there will be some more time because we’ve got a bigger break to the following game,” Dyche said. “There is an importance to that, we want these players to bed in quickly. We know they will with the group because we’ve got a great group here who are very open minded to new people coming in.
“We want them to understand how we play and all the details within how we play and that can take time sometimes or it’s hand in glove. Steven’s picked it up quick as we thought he might. He’s a very intelligent player, a very good technician and also quite a rounded player. He’s got 46 caps for Belgium in one of their golden eras so he’s certainly no mug and his understanding of the game is very good.
Jeff’s slightly younger but I think he gets it, I think he understands, from playing against us, what kind of animal we are and Patrick, slightly differently. It’s another new challenge for him. He’s had a couple in the past and here’s here to challenge the front line.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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