We’ve come through a lot of challenges this season
Chris Wilder brings his Sheffield United team to Burnley tomorrow and it’s been something of a love in with him and Sean Dyche in the build up to the game with the two managers having such great respect for each other.
Wilder described Burnley as the most talked about club at Bramall Lane. He said: “What they’ve done, in terms of building, consistency and bringing money into the club, establishing themselves at this level, that’s who we should be looking to follow.
“We’ve got different set ups and different systems but I’ve never got too hooked up on stuff like that and I know Sean hasn’t either. Dear me, I’m beginning to sound as if I’m subscribing to the Sean Dyche fan club aren’t I? Well, I’m not ashamed to say I’m in it.”
Wilder, like Dyche, has been expressing concerns, since their FA Cup defeat against Arsenal, over how easily some players go down. He said: “We’re not changing the way we go about it, we’re not going to start diving or anything like that in order to try and gain an advantage. We can’t, otherwise it just becomes a race to the bottom.
“Sean has brought this up at LMA meetings as well, because of the example it sets. There’s nothing wrong with a good challenge and that’s what the main stakeholders in the game, the fans, want to see. They want to see good tackles, good headers and good races.”
Dyche has seen the Clarets recover from the 5-0 defeat at Manchester City with 1-0 wins against Watford and Crystal Palace. “We have come out of the lockdown with a lot of challenges, on and off the pitch, and we are still delivering,” he said.
“I literally thanked the players at Palace because it’s not easy with all this going on, and yet they remain focused to take on the games with a real focus. We are not naïve; we have to continue doing that against some really good sides, including Sheffield United next up, and we are challenged in terms of numbers. But there’s a clear-mindedness about the group at the moment and I am super pleased with that.”
Dyche has seen his team, like other, have a hectic start since football resumed and he added: “We spoke to the players a long time before we started up again about the demands. We had a collective call and I asked if everyone was ok, and that their families and support networks were in place, because when we went back in, we wanted to go back in and pick up the season. Everyone said they were, which was a good start, and they have been as good as their word.
“Now we are trying to build on that, even though injuries and contracts have somewhat got in the way.”
He said he was enjoying the return to football after the long break. “I sort of lose track of days and the time of the year,” he admitted. “I’ve had my birthday in a season for the first time ever, which is odd in itself, but I have actually enjoyed the restart.
“The Premier League have done really well, getting it together and giving us the guidelines; the TV companies are playing their part, along with all the different media streams. The stats look good to me on the tempo and feel of the games and I think it’s been a really good product, considering all that’s been going on. Every party is delivering is as best they can.”
He’s ensured another season in the Premier League in 2020/21 and he said: “Forty-five points is no mean feat at this stage for a club like ours. That’s quite a big marker and we’ve got to stay open-minded to where it can go.
“Obviously, it would be very helpful if we had all those players fit because I think it would be very competitive group and we can change it, whereas at the moment we’re limited with our changes. But I am pleased overall. We’ve come through a lot of challenges this season and we continue to work for what we get.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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