Sean Dyche admitted there will be an element of the unknown on Sunday when his side face Thomas Tuchel’s new-look Chelsea, but the match could hardly come at a better time with Burnley high in confidence.
Tuchel oversaw Chelsea’s goalless draw with Wolves on Wednesday just a day after replacing Frank Lampard, but though there was clearly a different tactical plan, the German has had little time to implement his ideas.
“We’ve only got one game to go on in the Premier League, but obviously he’s been well thought of for many seasons around the different clubs he’s been at,” Dyche said ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.
“We saw (against Wolves) they were passing more than they had done, with incredibly high stats on keeping the ball. They didn’t score but they certainly knocked on the door.
“We’ll wait and see but I think with our wealth of experience in the Premier League, you can always use that knowledge.
“We’ll focus on ourselves and how we can be effective.”
Burnley have certainly been that of late.
A side that took only two points from the opening eight league games of the campaign have beaten Liverpool, Arsenal and Wolves in a run of five wins in nine that has pulled them clear of immediate trouble.
“It’s just a reminder to myself of the players that I work with and the quality of them,” Dyche said. “The industry they are prepared to put in, the physicality.
“The most pleasing thing is when a group of people take on a challenge. They’ve never been scared of a challenge. We’ve had a few knocks but when you come through that it reminds you of how good they are as people and players.
“I’ve got a lot of trust in these players and how they go about their business and it just reinforces it when you get a good result.”
Burnley’s rise up the table mirrors a similar run last season when they began to turn things around in January to haul themselves away from trouble.
Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan referred to that this week when he labelled the club as ‘Ronseal’, and argued that Dyche was not an attractive proposition for bigger clubs despite his strong record with the Clarets.
Dyche said he was unaware of the comments, but not particularly interested either.
“I understand the thought – it does what it says on the tin – but I’m not really bothered,” he said.
“Over the years you become more rounded as a manager. There are going to be all kinds of opinions – good, bad and indifferent. Everyone’s got a right to an opinion. I’m not really that fussed.
“I just get on with it. I’m employed to work for Burnley Football Club and I do work very hard and I just really focus on that.”
Dyche said there were no updates on possible new arrivals at Turf Moor in the final days of the transfer window.
The club had been strongly linked with Stoke’s Nathan Collins, but Dyche would not be drawn on names.
“There are loads of stories, loads of mistruths as always at this time of year,” he said. “The new ownership are still getting to grips with what the club is about.
“We’re still in the market, still trying, but I don’t think it’s going to be anything radical, any large amounts of money. It’s a balance while the new ownership learns about the club and how it works.”