BURNLEY, England (Reuters) - Burnley manager Sean Dyche has dismissed talk of him being an “old-school” manager, saying his approach to the game is a perfectly modern application of strong values.
Dyche’s no-nonsense style, disciplinarian streak and gruff voice have led some to suggest he is a throwback to the days of authoritarian British managers.
But the 46-year-old, whose side will go above Arsenal into sixth place in the Premier League if they complete the double over Chelsea at Turf Moor on Thursday, sees nothing old-fashioned about his approach.
“How can things like hard work, pride and passion be deemed old school? They’ve never been more modern. I’m the most old-school manager in the world and I’ve never felt more modern,” he told reporters.
“Those (values) are things to be encouraged, embraced. There is nothing better in a modern British side for a fan, as a minimum, to see their team give everything. Muhammad Ali had it - a skill without will is useless. You need that,” he said.
Facing Antonio Conte’s side brings back positive memories for the Clarets who, after being tipped for relegation, now find themselves in with a realistic chance of qualification for the Europa League.
Burnley began the season with a 3-2 win at Chelsea on the opening day, having managed just one away victory last season.
“It wasn’t just a great result against a top side, there was a story about one away win the previous season, that was gone immediately. It changes the immediate feeling of the season,” Dyche said.
Clarets midfielder Jack Cork, who began his career at Stamford Bridge, is looking forward to trying to get one over on the club that didn’t hand him a single start in five years.
“I think that is the same with any of your old clubs, I think any pro would say they’d want to win against their old clubs. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they dislike that club, it’s just nice to go there sometimes and try to prove a point and get a result,” Cork said.
“It would be a massive achievement to follow up what we did at Stamford Bridge with another win against them. Chelsea are the only team in the top six that we’ve beaten so far so it would be great to follow that up.”
Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Ed Osmond