Belfast Telegraph

Burnley boss Sean Dyche had no contact over Aston Villa job

Burnley manager Sean Dyche says speculation linking him with the Aston Villa job was "common sense" but nothing more than that.

Former Hull boss Steve Bruce took over the reins at the Sky Bet Championship strugglers this week but only after a flurry of betting saw the odds on Dyche tumble dramatically.

While managers do not typically drop down a division while still employed at a Premier League club, Villa's supporter base and resources make it a more attractive proposition than their current travails suggest.

Dyche is a proven performer in the second tier, having won the title last season and earned promotion on a shoestring previously, and thinks that is why his name was in the frame.

Asked if there had been any formal contact, he answered: "No. It's just after two promotions in three years out of the Championship I think it's a common sense link more than anything.

"I think they've appointed a very good man. I get on well with Brucey and like him a lot as a person, as well as his record as a manager.

"I wish him well."

Dyche's side travel to Southampton on Sunday, where they will finally have a chance to take out the frustrations worked up by Arsenal's controversial injury-time winner last time out.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who has played 137 league games in a row, is a doubt having withdrawn from England duty with a calf problem.

If he misses out another former international, Paul Robinson, stands by.

Defender Michael Keane did link up with Gareth Southgate's squad for games against Malta and Slovenia after receiving his first senior call-up.

Although he did not play it was another sign of the 23-year-old's growing stature, which many believe will bring the likes of Chelsea calling in January.

"I was really, really pleased that Gareth called him up to give him a look at it," said Dyche.

"I'm glad he's had a feel of it because I think he is a player who can progress and play top-level international football.

"It's about the group and environment there, the difference in levels, the top players, training at that level and getting a feel for what it is.

"But it's a double-edged sword. It's a compliment in many ways that people are writing stories about your players but there is a challenge to make sure we, as a club, are secure. We said in the summer that players weren't for sale and they weren't. Keano's still here.

"We don't worry too much about the future."

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