LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Having managed just seven points and one victory away from home last season, Burnley’s 1-0 win at Everton on Sunday ensured their best start on the road in a top flight campaign since 1966.
Burnley had to wait until their penultimate away game, against Crystal Palace, to record a win on the road last season and the fixture list handed Sean Dyche’s team a testing start to the current campaign.
Entering October, however, Burnley have wins at Goodison Park and Chelsea along with draws away to Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.
“Away from home to have a start like that I don’t think that anyone could see that,” Dyche said after Sunday’s win.
“They were really tough games on paper and of course when you actually play them,” he said.
Burnley delivered some good performances away from Turf Moor last season but were unable to secure results and Dyche believes the change has come from his players having a different attitude.
“There has been a nice shift mentally and I think that is a really big thing. (Then) you have that little bit more assuredness coming to these grounds, play, deal with the noise around the ground and focus on what you have got to do,” he said.
“We are still improving on that but there are signs that we are (more composed). I am so impressed with the way they are handling things.”
A change in style has also helped with the arrival of Jack Cork from Swansea City in midfield alongside the finally fully fit Belgian midfielder Steven Defour giving the team an improved capacity for keeping possession.
While Burnley can still mix in plenty of direct football, Dyche’s side are much more focused on shorter passes and patient build-up and Sunday’s winning goal from Jeff Hendrick came at the end of a 24-pass move.
“We are trying to, there are no Barcelona statements I can assure you,” joked Dyche.
“But I have spoken about the flexibility we want to have, some of that can come with the personnel and players signing and how the team can operate in different manners.
“But equally I have also spoken about how we do get the ball forward. We aren’t bothered about what people think about that because my job is to help the team win.
“We talk about that flexibility and that is what makes a good side. We are not brilliant, but we are learning and we are improving,” he said.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Toby Davis