Belfast Telegraph

Best of British boosts Burnley

The best of British is helping Burnley confound expectations in the Premier League, according to manager Sean Dyche.

Aside from third-choice goalkeeper Alex Cisak, the Clarets' squad is entirely made up of players from the British Isles.

And in an era when fielding all foreign teams is more normal than all British ones, Dyche believes traditional British values can still be a major asset.

He said: "For many years now there's been this overwhelming desire for technical quality, which is fantastic and it's absolutely needed, but why shouldn't it be backed up by some of the fantastic British qualities?

"I grew up in an era when you work hard, you show desire, you have passion, you have pride, and they're absolute fundamentals for me of my group.

"Good manners is a fundamental of my group. I don't think you'll find many stepping out of line, and if they do they will have to answer to me.

"They are part of the British culture and I think there was a time when that softened in some areas and we lost sight of using that wisely. I think it's still a powerful force.

"If you're mentally tough and you have that resilience, which is a British trait that's been there way beyond me passed down from my parents, grandparents etc, then what a great value to have.

"And I think we have got that real desire as a team to perform and to win."

Burnley's players have certainly bought into their manager's philosophy.

The Clarets top the Fair Play table and have not had a single player booked for dissent this season, while they have run further than their opponents in every Premier League game.

"The one thing for sure that I know about football is you've got to run around," said Dyche. "You've got to run around intelligently, though, it can't just be crisp bags in the wind.

"Our players will give everything until the referee blows the whistle. That's a demand we have put on the players and they've taken it into the group and it's part of them now.

"The stats are through the roof. If the glue that holds everything together is physicality, then teams are going to have to go a long way to outdo us on that one."

Burnley are level on points with Saturday's opponents Crystal Palace following their victory over another close rival, QPR, at Turf Moor last weekend.

Three more points could lift them up the table significantly and put a bit of distance between them and bottom three.

Midfielder David Jones is no stranger to relegation battles having played for Derby, Wolves and Wigan prior to joining Burnley in the summer of 2013.

He singled out the mentality of Burnley's squad as the best he has experienced and believes the dominance of British players does help.

He said: "I've been part of very British teams and I've been part of teams where there's a lot more variation in nationalities. I feel here is the best I've been a part of.

"It might just be the personalities but I think everyone's got the same mentality, how the manager wants to play, and we all respond to that so that's a key thing.

"There's definitely something special here. It was demonstrated last season. I just think it's phenomenal how every game, everybody gives their all.

"We're competitive in every game and it's great to be part of that. I've been part of teams in the past where that isn't the case.

"Here it's a constant, we don't have to turn on a switch, we train the way we play. It's just something I believe in and it's easy for me to fit in."

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