APPROACHING the middle of what the club has labelled “Dychember”, up comes a game in which Burnley’s new gaffer will have something to prove.
Saturday sees his old club Watford, who dismissed him in the summer, arrive at Turf Moor for a battle of two sides 11 places apart in the division.
Dyche’s record at Vicarage Road was pretty good under what weren’t the easiest of circumstances, and it appears he only became a managerial statistic after Watford’s powers-that-be fancied an international star at the helm and recruited Gianfranco Zola.
The difference between the two sides isn’t actually that great - five points in fact, as the Championship, as ever, makes it difficult to put a cigarette card between many of the sides.
It’s certainly a match with plenty at stake - Watford could cement a play-off place while the Clarets, despite having played well, especially in the first 45 minutes of most of their recent games, haven’t had that much to show for it and need a win to power on as Christmas approaches.
There’s little doubt that the gaffer has tightened up the back four, although the headed goals conceded against both Barnsley and Forest indicate there is still work to be done, but goals have become harder to come by. From what I’ve seen of late it’s more a case of chances not taken than not created.
The tail-off of performance in the second half is a little worrying, signalling that fitness might be an issue. This can be improved upon and Dyche’s reputation indicates it’s something he can remedy.
After starting with four wins from five games, the results haven’t returned the results the performances have by and large merited. No-one is claiming Burnley are a team of world-beaters hard done by and Dyche himself said after the Forest match that it showed they weren’t the finished article.
But I’d say the material is promising - let’s see where we are in January. Christmas has rarely been an easy period to navigate through for the Clarets.