We are absolutely ready to take on the challenge
Burnley travel to Old Trafford tomorrow for a first date with Jose Mourinho since February 2015 when he was still in charge of Chelsea with them on the way to the title.
The Portuguese, who greatly upset Burnley with his comments on that match and his reference to minutes, lost his job at Stamford Bridge last season and has taken over from Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford this summer.
At his press conference ahead of the game, he was asked about two of his players, Michael Carrick and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, one of this summer’s signings. Of Carrick, he said: “He’s phenomenal, no doubt about it, but I think I have to manage him.
“I can’t expect from Michael what I expect from Rashford or Herrera in terms of playing three to five consecutive matches, but he’s phenomenal.”
However, on Mkhitaryan and his absence from the team, he said: “Mkhitaryan is not injured, he is training with the team 100%. I think some players find it very easy whereas others need more time. Micki needs time to become the top player he knows he can be.”
His team recovered from the defeat at Chelsea last week to beat rivals Manchester City in the League Cup. “After the Chelsea defeat we had to play City three days later and because of the defeat it became more than just a normal cup match,” he said.
“The boys managed to find that extra effort and competitive mentality. It was very important for the players to win it and give back to the fans,” and turning his attention to Burnley, he added: “Burnley is the same Burnley. It is the same manager, basically the same players, same philosophy, same profile of team and same mentality.
“We know it will be tough for us, especially because we come in with a run of five matches with two days in between. Finally we will have a Sunday off and a little bit of time until the Fernerbahce match.”
Sean Dyche will have been Burnley manager four years this Sunday. He kicked off with home games against Wolves and Leeds, both of which were won, but takes us to the biggest league ground in the country to celebrate four years.
“I think most people would have taken Manchester United away this weekend when I arrived here four years ago,” he said. “It’s kind of a measure of where we were and where we are, but there’s that weird thing that nobody really cares about the past.
“I think it’s more one for the fans. It’s a great occasion playing the superpowers of the division, but business wise we want to win another game. Most of our players have played in big games, but of course they know when they come around and the occasions they are.
“And despite people talking about the ups and downs of United a the moment, they are a fine side with some big players, so we know the realities, but we are absolutely ready to take on the challenge.”
We’ll look at his four years in charge on Sunday, but approaching the anniversary, Sean himself said: “There’s some obvious things that have gone on, with the training ground and getting promotion twice, but behind that I’ve been really pleased with the work under that.
“Money brings a lot, we all know that, but before the money came there were a lot of good things going on and I was really please with that. I was an even younger manager then, but I know in the first six or seven months when I was getting a fair bit of stick, we were putting in good things. I knew the analysis was changing. I knew the way we were working and the club was running was right. ”
He continued: “The first promotion was even surprising to me. I knew we’d be fine and we’d have a go at being around it, but that was like ‘wow’. We got on a roll an had people playing on top of their games, so that was a really good start.
“Before that promotion season though I thought there was some really good work going on and I’m really proud of that first six or seven months. It’s hard, when you’re getting stick, to see through that and know we are laying down some good bricks and mortar to build for the future, but I am proud of that and you are calm when you believe it’s right.
“If I’m not calm that means I’m questioning myself and we’re not doing things we need to do, but we were doing those things and I could go home every day and put my head on the pillow. As long as I know I’m giving the lot, doing things right and living by principles and morals, I’ll sleep easily.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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