Sean Dyche refuses to contemplate whether the lack of supporters in stadiums has been a factor in Burnley’s poor start to the season as he said: “We just crack on and work as hard as we can to get the next result.”
Burnley have claimed just two points from their opening seven fixtures and sit in the bottom three ahead of Monday evening’s clash with Crystal Palace at Turf Moor, widely considered to be a tricky place for visiting teams.
However, Burnley have lost all three Premier League matches at home so far, leading to speculation that the ongoing absence of their fans amid the coronavirus pandemic is having a direct impact on their fortunes.
Dyche believes the small sample size means it is too early to make that assumption but as he acknowledged there is nothing he can do to change the situation, he is paying it little attention.
“Over a season’s work, we’ll probably know more, certainly by the halfway point, what effect the fans are not having because they can’t be in the stadium,” he said.
“Hopefully, in the new year there might be better news about fans coming to stadiums.
“Whether there’s fans in or not, we’ve got to make sure we correct anything that’s going on and the first thing is to win games, regardless of whether it’s home or away.
“Historically, is home form helpful? Yes it is. If you look across the Premier League or any level of football, most teams have a more productive home record than away record, statistically, therefore it is important.
“If your fans help with that which I think they probably do, not just Burnley fans, then that would be beneficial. As they’re not in the stadium then we just crack on and work as hard as we can to get the next result.”
James Tarkowski’s future at Burnley is under some scrutiny after the centre-half said over the international break he had no intention of signing a new contract as he heads into the last 18 months of his existing deal.
Dyche has already said he has “no problem” with Tarkowski and is confident that will remain the case.
“I don’t say anything to him other than ‘keep being the top professional I believe you to be’,” Dyche added.
“I think he’s a top player. He’s been training really, really hard for us, he’s got himself fit and working really hard in his performances, there’s been nothing to question since he got over his injury and how he’s performed.
“That’s what I judge people on: their honesty, their authenticity – and I think he’s got both – and his value to us as a club. He’s shown that many times over and I’m sure he’ll show it again.”