The Premier League is a rough place for a low-budget club, something Sean Dyche and Burnley supporters knew well before the Clarets leapt back into England’s top flight.
But that doesn’t make it any easier to watch. Burnley’s stubborn back line held Arsenal back from almost an hour before Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers and the Gunners broke the dam and posted a 3-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.
[ MATCH RECAP: Arsenal 3-0 Burnley ]
And Dyche, with just four points through 10 Premier League matches, is not ringing out notes of defiance. Rather, he’s acknowledging how hard it is for Burnley to succeed. And some will ask whether that’s the right attitude to spur his charges to fight for their unlikely survival.
“There is a reality to our challenge and that is not the reality, that is the top end of the market. They are a high quality side. They create chances and it could have been more but that is just by the nature of the quality of their players.
“It not just about one win. We need more than one win, make no mistake. It has to be. That is the challenge. The improvements are marginal it is the learning curve, it is a high state of learning in the Premier League.”
Obviously Dyche isn’t throwing in the towel, but it’s about how he teaches those lessons. Take what he said to his striker — and arguably best player — Danny Ings.
“I was saying to Danny Ings, look at players like Alexis Sanchez. He will fight, run and tackle when he needs to. But that is top end of the market players.”
Does Ings need to be told that? Unlikely, and surely a 22-year-old whose has appeared five times for England’s U-21 side doesn’t want to hear about who he isn’t (at least not in the press).
It’s going to be a long season for Burnley, and it will feel even longer without a nice winning moment soon. Three points soon is important for the Clarets, whose next few matches are Hull City, Stoke City, Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers.
They have to strike soon.