Burnley went into the 2014/15 campaign knowing that they faced beyond an uphill task, this wasn’t far off Everest. Indeed, the Clarets had a minuscule budget, even small in terms of Championship teams, but Sean Dyche’s modest and hard-working mindset saw them promoted as runners-up in the Championship, and knew they had to be fearless in the harsh world of the Premier League. Eventual relegation in 19th place was about right for a hard-working team who simply lacked the cutting edge too often.
Burnley had been written off before the first kick of a ball, and despite an opening day loss to Chelsea, the 3-1 defeat gave the Clarets much confidence going forward. Not long after Sean Dyche’s hard-working side held Manchester United to a 0-0 draw, further boosting their belief that they belong in the Premier League against the world’s elite.
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Despite the eventual relegation, there were many high points for the Clarets. Every Saturday that Turf Moor hosted Premier League football was a cause for celebration, but the stunning 1-0 win over Manchester City coupled with a 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium had Clarets pinching themselves.
That belief and confidence though soon dissipated. . The Clarets wouldn’t win a league match until November, though, when they saw off Hull 1-0 at Turf Moor for their first victory after 11 games, leaving them bottom of the table with only seven points from nine games, despite the victory against Hull. The Christmas period resulted in a renewed sense of optimism for Burney, wherein they went four matches unbeaten, including the aforementioned superb comeback from 2-2 down to earn a draw at Manchester City.
Danny Ings form picked up for a while too, scoring five goals in six Premier League games. Despite the commendable efforts of Ings though, goals were in short supply for the Clarets were ultimately the downfall to their 19th place finish, having scored only 33 goals in 38 games – only 0.8 goals per game. Turf Moor was the lowest-scoring stadium in the Premier League this season (35 goals in 19 games).With Danny Ings off the new season in the Championship poses a great unknown for Burnley – will Dyche stay? Will other players like Kieran Trippier leave?
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“The one thing for sure that I know about football is you’ve got to run around. You’ve got to run around intelligently, though. It can’t just be crisp bags in the wind”, said Sean Dyche during the season. And it is that stat which typifies the affable nature of Burnley this season, and why they’ll be welcomed back to the Premier League when they next get the chance.
What Burnley have which QPR for example don’t though, is humble, yet solid foundations, which could prove vital should they hope to gain promotion straight away next season.