Sean Dyche’s Turf Moor departure came as a complete shock to Burnley’s players, caretaker boss Michael Jackson has revealed.
Jackson has been put in caretaker charge for Sunday’s visit to West Ham, following the board’s decision to sack long-serving boss Dyche on Friday. Burnley are 18th in the Premier League table, four points adrift of safety.
Jackson also said he has been given no indication of who will be in charge after Sunday’s trip to the London Stadium, adding he hopes everyone at the club adopts a siege mentality as Burnley battle to stay in the Premier League.
“I came in for the morning to prepare for the U23s game and the chairman called me into his office and I was told about it then. I was told this is what’s happening,” Jackson said.
“It has come as a shock to the players, that’s human nature.
“They are an experienced group, they’ve come together and now for us it’s about the whole club coming together, all the fans, and just bunkering in and concentrating on what we need to do.”
Jackson praised Dyche for his contribution to Burnley’s success and said there will not be wholesale team changes for Sunday’s game at West Ham.
“He [Dyche] has built the club but built a culture, an identity, and that is really difficult to do in football sometimes,” Jackson said.
“The job he has done, you only have to listen to some of the interviews with other managers and his peers, to know what they think of him. It is sad but they should be remembered for what they’ve done for this club. I’m sure the fans will remember that too.
“When I look at it, you only have to look back a few games ago when they had a run of three games – Spurs, Brighton and Palace – when the group put a run together. Then there was the comeback against Everton.
“There is a lot of good here and it is reminding the group about what we are good at doing, about reminding them what the identity of Burnley is.
“I don’t think you can go and play with total freedom. For us, it’s about preparing for the game on Sunday and all the focus will be on that. We’re not going to change the style of how we play in one day.
“The strength is in the group, an experienced group. They pull together and they know how to play the game. We might tinker with some details but there will be no wholesale change of style. We’ll take one half of football at a time.”
Duff interested in Burnley job
Former Burnley defender Michael Duff admits he is interested in the Burnley job, but says he is focused on his current job as Cheltenham manager.
When asked if he would be interested in the job, Duff said: “Yes, would be the obvious answer because I think I’ve had two football clubs in 27 years, Cheltenham (and Burnley) they are the two clubs closest to my heart so it’s if, buts and maybes. I’m focused on the job here at the minute.”
Duff says he has not been approached or contacted by Burnley.
Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder, who has also been linked with the job, has told Sky Sports he is not interested in replacing Dyche at Turf Moor.
Analysis: Dyche departs as a Burnley legend
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright:
When Sean Dyche was appointed at Turf Moor in October 2012, he inherited a side sitting 14th in the Championship table having conceded the most goals in the division.
Over the next decade, he would oversee a total transformation of the club, earning promotion to the Premier League in 2014 and again in 2016 following a brief return to the second tier.
Dyche was Burnley’s third managerial appointment in two years following Brian Laws and Eddie Howe but all that upheaval soon became a distant memory, the club instead becoming a picture of stability.
At the end of the 2019/20 campaign, following Burnley’s 10th-placed finish and Howe’s relegation with Bournemouth, Dyche even became the longest-serving manager in the Premier League.
The highlight of his Burnley tenure remains their extraordinary seventh-placed finish in 2017/18 but it is what he has done for the club as a whole, establishing their presence in the top flight on a budget far smaller than their rivals’ and forging a unique identity on and off the field, that supporters will cherish most.
The side’s struggles this season have prompted the club to act, but it is a testament to Dyche’s outstanding work that even now, with the threat of relegation looming large, his sacking comes as a major shock. It is a gamble their owners may come to regret.
Managers praise Dyche job at Burnley: ‘They should build him a statue’
Brentford manager Thomas Frank: “I’m massively surprised. I’m don’t know what happened behind the scenes, but looking from the outside and as a Brentford head coach, there’s a lot of things we can learn from a club like Burnley.
“They were promoted, relegated and then promoted again and they’ve been here six or seven years in the PL. It’s remarkable what they have done. Sean Dyche and his coaching staff and everyone at the club have done an unbelievable, top job.
“I think Sean Dyche deserves a lot of credit and they should build a statue of him outside Turf Moor because what he’s done is incredible – every season, going into the Premier League with probably bottom three or bottom four budget and then still being able to compete and not just survive, but get at least a couple of top ten places is a fantastic, remarkable job.
“Looking from the outside, I think they would have had a better chance keeping him to survive because he knows everything. But of course, I don’t know everything.”
West Ham manager David Moyes: “I’m shocked and a little bit surprised as well. I think Sean’s done such a great job and established Burnley in the Premier League over many years. Over recent times Burnley have been a very difficult team to play against and most of that has been done by Sean.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta: “I only have words of praise because what he’s done at the club over the last 10 years is phenomenal. He gave the club a really clear identity, he’s managed to keep the team, with one of the smallest budgets, consistently in the league. I wish him the best of luck and as always with colleagues, it’s sad when you see those decisions.”
Brighton manager Graham Potter: “Surprised. I feel for a colleague, someone who I have a lot of respect for. It’s never nice when someone loses their job of course, but we know these things happen in football. I don’t think he’ll be out of work for long because the job he did at Burnley was fantastic.
“I think it is part of life. Sean is a big guy, he knows how it is. The reality is there are more people to feel sorry for than Premier League managers but there is a pressure, an expectation.
“Sometimes it is fair, sometimes it is unfair – it goes with the territory. We know that when we go into it. We know when results don’t go well you are under pressure, you have got scrutiny. But it is part of the thing you sign up for and you have to deal with it.”
Watford manager Roy Hodgson: “Of all the people in the league, he would have been one of the ones I would have thought most likely to survive anything like this so I have no idea what’s happened.
“Something must have happened because you don’t part company with a manager like Sean Dyche after all the fantastic things he’s done for that club over the last 10 years, he has built the club.
“So I was surprised, shocked and disappointed too because I know Sean quite well and I admire him as coach and a manager. I didn’t think that something like this would happen to him.”
April 17 – West Ham (a)
April 21 – Southampton (h), live on Sky Sports
April 24 – Wolves (h)
April 30 – Watford (a)
May 7 – Aston Villa (h)
May 15 – Tottenham (a)
May 19 – Aston Villa (a)
May 22 – Newcastle (h)