I cannot overstate my admiration for Burnley boss Sean Dyche and his Clarets players. In an age when big money transfers have practically ruined the game, the Lancashire club are thriving at the top table of English football.
The Clarets are currently seventh place in the Premier League table, a position that could be good enough to give the Lancashire side a Europa League qualifying round for next season.
Some will say that the Burnley squad is too small or they have not got the quality to cope with so many competitions. However, I do believe the club and boss Dyche would take the competition seriously and not let anybody down. The Clarets boss has even recently stated that his club and team would welcome the challenge of the Europa League.
Brilliant in the Premier League
Sean Dyche has produced fantastic results in the Premier League. The Clarets boss won the Premier League Manager of the Month award for his sides recent good run of form.
The former Chesterfield boss has now established the Clarets as a top-flight club, something which is a big achievement considering the financial resources available at other clubs.
The way that the club and team are run has put certain other clubs in the league to shame. Yet, Dyche will not rest on his laurels and he will aim to continue to improve his side and aim even higher.
There is likely to be a ceiling for how far the Clarets can go. However, few people would have imagined the team from Lancashire challenging for European spots at this stage of the season.
They have defied the odds and with canny financial management have remained in the top-flight and moving forward with it.
The right balance
Dyche has built his team on solid defensive foundations. The Clarets have been highly organised in defence in the last two seasons in the Premier League. In fact, only Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham have conceded fewer goals than the Clarets.
Sean Dyche and his coaching staff deserve the credit for that statistic. The 46-year-old comes across as a no-nonsense sort of coach and that is illustrated by the style of his team.
However, they are not long ball merchants by any stretch of the imagination. Dyche has attempted to adapt his team’s style of play gradually, bringing in better players when finances have permitted it.
The fact that the defence remains solid means that the Clarets are not under immense pressure at the other end to be prolific in attack. As recent performances have shown, the Clarets now play with just the right balance between defence and attack.
A big game against their rivals
Usually, Burnley against Leicester would not be a massive game, well not in the grand scheme of the neutral. However, Saturday’s clash between the pair at Turf Moor could prove crucial in the race for a top-seven finish this season.
The Clarets are six points clear of the eighth-place Foxes and are odds of 13/8 to beat the side from the Midlands. A win would give the Clarets a massive chance of finishing in the league’s top-seven.
Seventh-place will only be enough for a Europa League spot if Southampton fails to make the FA Cup final. If the Saints overcome Chelsea, then only the top six would get into the Europa League.
With or without a European spot up for grabs, Burnley will be aiming to finish their strongest ever Premier League season in good fashion.
If the side from Lancashire does end up playing European football, then it will be just rewards for everybody connected with the club. They are a fantastic example of what can be achieved with hard work and excellent management at every level of the organisation.
Will Burnley be playing European football next season?
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