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Dyche delighted with 'clear growth and development' at Burnley


Sean Dyche's Burnley are hoping to stay in the Premier League at the third attempt

Sean Dyche's Burnley are hoping to stay in the Premier League at the third attempt

Sean Dyche's Burnley are hoping to stay in the Premier League at the third attempt

Burnley moved into the Premier League's top 10 with a win over Southampton to leave Sean Dyche crediting his side's approach to their top-flight return.

Twenty-one games into the 2016-17 season, the Clarets are far removed from the trouble at the bottom which many expected them to be mired in, with a 10-point advantage over 18th-placed Hull.

That they are so far clear of danger is a consequence of their form at Turf Moor, where a 1-0 victory over Saints was their eighth home win of the campaign as substitute Joey Barton scored with a late free-kick.

Burnley's previous two Premier League tilts have ended in instant demotion back to the second tier so entering the top half of the division in mid-January could be seen as a significant achievement.

"I'm not really too fussed over that," Dyche said of their current league place.

"I'm more impressed with the way we're going about it. There's clear growth and development in the group of players; that's really pleasing as a manager.

"I'm not naive - you have to win games of course. But it's good to see players improving, growing and that mentality staying so firm because this is a really tough division - most people tell me arguably one of the top divisions, if not the top division, in the world so we don't take anything for granted.

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"I always say there's a humbleness about what we do, no one thinks we're the real deal, we're not trying to tell everyone what we are, we just get on with working hard to win games.

"So far it's served us well, but it is so far, we've got a lot of work to do still."

Barton's strike on his Premier League return consigned Saints to a fourth successive loss in the division, dropping them down to 12th and harming their hopes of a top-seven finish.

They have scored just twice in that run of four defeats and only they and Middlesbrough have failed to reach 20 goals this season.

With Charlie Austin injured, it is an area where boss Claude Puel could look to improve before the window closes next month, not that he was able to offer any guarantees after their Turf Moor loss.

"We will see, we will work with the chairman if there's an opportunity to improve the squad," he said.

"For the moment it's important to keep my concentration about this team. It's always difficult after a loss that we didn't deserve.

"It's important to recover and come back for the next game against Norwich. It's another competition, an important game. We are in three competitions and it's important to finish January with good results."

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