Burnley boss Sean Dyche has insisted that his side are better equipped than the side that lined up at Elland Road on the opening day of the season ahead of his team’s early kick off clash with Leeds United on Saturday.
Despite having to come from behind to salvage a draw in the fixture between these two sides at the beginning of the season, clarets boss Dyche told The Lancashire Telegraph “I think we’re a different animal now, both by player changes and by the group getting to know each other”.
Tuesday nights starting eleven against Cardiff had only 6 players who had played against Leeds on the opening day. Players like Jutkiewicz who is returning from injury and Jelle Vossen who has left the club started that day, with Tendayi Darikwa at right back who has lost his place to Matt Lowton and Ben Mee moving from left back to centre back to partner Michael Keane allowing Stephen Ward to come in. The arrival of Joey Barton has also added steel to the midfield area.
Despite a relatively slow start where Burnley went their first three games without a win, Burnley are on a run which has seen them unbeaten in the last 17 games and although they have drawn their last three Dyche has been impressed with the way his team have formed a strong bond together. He added “We’ve become a more cohesive unit, the mixed play I like has developed well, the bond between the players when you need the fight and the physicality has come on”.
Dyche also indicated that he thought opposition teams now approach his side with a different mentality than they did 2 years ago when they were promoted. “Early in that season (two years ago) there was a number of teams who thought they’d come here and be alright and run all over us and play how they wanted to play, and found that wasn’t so easy, whereas now they come up with the mentality that it’s going to be hard”.