Sean Dyche believes his band of free transfers and Championship battlers have come together to forge a fierce team spirit that is capable of bringing down champions-elect Chelsea at Turf Moor on Sunday.
The Burnley boss might have had the luxury of shattering the club’s transfer record with his £10million swoop for Robbie Brady last month, but he believes the back-bone of his side has grown stronger from previous setbacks.
The likes of Scott Arfield, who was released by Huddersfield two years ago, and keeper Tom Heaton who joined Dyche after being relegated with Bristol City, have gone on to earn rave reviews in the top-flight this season.
Dyche said: “There are so many good stories here, it’s a constant part of what we do. Everyone has moved forward.
“They value everything they have worked hard for and that is the key to it. There have been no gimmes at this club, we’ve had to work for everything we’ve got throughout my time here.
“I think there’s an honesty about the way we go about it. Whether it’s at home to Chelsea or the Cup against Lincoln it’s another game – we’ve got to go to war and do our business.”
Dyche believes his side have improved since their last Turf Moor clash with Chelsea two years ago, when Arfield scored the opener only for Diego Costa to reply on his Chelsea debut as the visitors ran out 3-1 winners.
He added: “A lot of management comes from experience so I’ve experienced a lot since then – trying to get a team to stay in the division then re-model it when we were relegated and get back up.
“All that is part of my growth and the team’s. We are different – I think I’m different, my staff and the players. I think we’ve learnt a lot in those two years, but you can’t define it on just one game.”
Burnley are looking for their eighth straight home win against Antonio Conte’s men and three more points would give them another huge boost in their battle to stay clear of the relegation dogfight.
And while many have appeared to be in awe of Conte’s Stamford Bridge revolution this season, Dyche insists it is his job to identify weak points and set out in the belief that his side can upset the odds again.
He added: “Weaknesses? I don’t know – it’s difficult to detect in a lot of the top sides, but the beauty of football is that even if you can’t find them they sometimes just occur.
“Sometimes it’s about allowing your team to play to find a weakness – that’s part of the challenge of football and I think we do that reasonably well.
“They are a good side and they have some good individuals. There is always a ‘but’ though. Why do underdogs beat favourites? Because ways are found for that to happen.
“Our job is to find a way even against teams where pundits are telling me that they don’t have a weakness. We have to find a way.”