Sean Dyche admitted the “unforgiving” nature of football management meant he could not have envisioned how long he would stay at Burnley as he prepares to take charge of his 200th Premier League match.
Dyche is the current longest-serving manager in the English top-flight and celebrated his eighth anniversary at the club in October, while he will reach his latest milestone when Everton visit Turf Moor at lunchtime on Saturday.
But he is aware of the uncertainty his position brings, having been removed as Watford boss months before taking over at the Clarets despite guiding the Hornets to their highest league finish in four seasons in 2011-12.
So when he was asked whether he could have imagined lasting a significant length of time at Burnley, Dyche said: “No – not because I didn’t know what I was doing, I believe I know quite a lot about what I’m doing!
“It’s just that the challenges that are in front of you, the realities of the game and the changes in the game, it is a very unforgiving place sometimes, football management.
“It is enjoyable in a strange kind of way, finding your way through those tough times and how you make them work, and learn a lot about yourself as a person.
“When you do find those ways and you do make things right then it’s very rewarding to you as a manager – not just the financial rewards but the feeling that it gives you to work so hard to get things right.
“To have done that for 200 games I’m actually pretty proud of that because I don’t think it’s easy for English and British managers at the moment to get 200 games in the Premier League.”
As for whether he believes he has the desire to remain at the helm for another 200 games, Dyche added: “I don’t think it’s about hunger.
“It’s about successes, winning games, continuing to work hard, continuing to learn from what’s around you and pick up the things you’re going to need as the game progresses and changes.
“You still need a little bit of luck along the way, sometimes you need a door to open in the right way.”
Dyche took over a mid-table Championship side and has turned them into an established Premier League outfit, although they sit second bottom ahead of the visit of the Toffees after a poor start to this season.
They were thrashed 5-0 at Manchester City last weekend, a few days after claiming their first win of the campaign by overcoming Crystal Palace in their most recent home fixture.
Dyche, who confirmed goalkeeper Nick Pope has been given the all-clear to return after missing the City game with a concussion, said: “We came away from what we were good at and it showed in a heavy defeat.
“We’ve got to get back to what we know we can deliver. The Palace game was a good show of it: working both ends of the pitch well and tying it together with the right work ethic and belief in the middle part of the game.
“At the minute, we’re OK and we want to make sure we get more points on the board quickly because it does align you better with what the rest of the season will behold, hopefully.”
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