Burnley were relegated from the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, but manager Sean Dyche is confident the Lancashire club will bounce back.
Despite a 1-0 win at fellow-strugglers Hull City, courtesy of a Danny Ings goal on 62 minutes, wins for Aston Villa, Leicester City and Sunderland plus Newcastle United taking a point, means the Clarets can no longer finish any higher than 18th in the top-flight standings. So after just one season amongst the elite, the Turf Moor club will be back in the Championship next season.
Whilst this will no doubt be disappointing for Burnley, there can be little doubt that they have won admirers this season for the style of football they have tried to implement. It can also be argued that although they have lost 19 times, only on two occasions have they been beaten by three or more goals; 4-0 at West Bromwich Albion and 3-0 at Arsenal both before Christmas.
And speaking after the win at the KC Stadium, which plunges Steve Bruce’s Tigers into the bottom three wit the daunting prospect of wrapping up their season with matches against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, Dyche spoke of the pride he has in his players. Not only this, but he also feels he and his staff have done enough to ensure they are capable of bouncing back.
“There is a real mental resilience about the players and they will have grown from this experience, as will I, as will the staff, the fans, the club – everything about the club is in a whole better place than it was,” he told Sky Sports. “We have tried to build something, it hasn’t kept us in the division but there are great signs of a club that can move forward beyond this moment.”
Whether Dyche remains at Turf Moor will likely be an ongoing source of intrigue during the summer, as the reputation he has built himself could see him a target for Premier League sides. And the same can be said for a number of his players, with striker Ings sure to move on when his contract expires and the defensive duo Kieran Trippier and Ben Mee reportedly attracting interest.
If Burnley can keep the bulk of their squad intact over the summer, are they capable of bouncing back to the Premier League at the first time of asking?