Sean Dyche's achievements at Burnley are now flying so far under the radar that nobody seems to have noticed the Clarets sitting tenth in the Premier League table as we head into the November international break. They're just two points behind Chris Wilder's much-lauded Sheffield United!

Forever listed among the relegation favourites, Burnley have never really felt in true danger of dropping into the Championship and there's one glaring reason for this - Dyche's ability to halt losing streaks before they spiral out of control.

Since the start of the 2016/17 season, Burnley have lost more than three consecutive Premier League fixtures on just two occasions. Those runs of losses extended to four, before they were well and truly nipped in the bud.

Saturday's victory over West Ham was a case in point, as Burnley arrived at Turf Moor on the back of three defeats in which they'd conceded a combined nine goals to Leicester, Chelsea and Sheffield United.

Uncharacteristically porous at the back, Dyche made the bold decision to replace Erik Pieters and Matt Lowton in his defence - the pair had featured in all of Burnley's previous 11 Premier League games. But it was much more than simply a case of fresh legs. This was Dyche using full backs with slightly more pace, energy and attacking intent to exploit West Ham's high line and defensive frailty.


With the Hammers' current attacking prowess akin to eating steak with plastic cutlery, Charlie Taylor and Phil Bardsley were given licence to roam forward and interpret defensive duties (slightly) more loosely. It paid off. 

Bardsley's shot won the corner for the first goal, while Taylor's movement created space for Dwight McNeil as he crossed for Chris Wood to head home. Sadly, VAR ruled it out for offside but it certainly helped to dampen ​West Ham's spirit and Burnley romped to victory. 

This clever switch appeared to be part of Burnley's ploy to maximise the effect of Ashley Barnes and Wood, and yet it was merely a footnote in most match reports.

Much of Burnley's column inches are absorbed by an obsession to paint them as the league's latest bruisers, a fascination with Dyche's voice or post-match comments, and even reports as bizarre as his penchant for eating worms. So it's ironic that he time and again stops the rot to outwit his counterparts and preserve Burnley's place in the Premier League mud.

To put this into context, it's time to travel back to the summer of 2018, when ​Burnley were supposedly the latest victims of the Europa League curse. Amid the distraction of their 2018/19 European adventure, the Clarets picked up a single point and racked up four consecutive defeats in their opening five Premier League fixtures.

They halted this run with three unbeaten matches, drawing against Huddersfield after beating both Bournemouth and Cardiff City. The Bluebirds, meanwhile, who were relegated in 18th while Dyche guided Burnley to safety and 16th place, suffered this defeat in a run of five consecutive losses as they failed to win in their opening nine fixtures. Fine margins, given that the gap between Burnley and Cardiff ended up at just six points.


A three-game revival was abruptly halted by respective 5-0 and 4-0 hidings to Manchester City and Chelsea, while even West Ham put four past them in a 4-2 defeat. But they dug in and ground out a spirited 0-0 draw away to Leicester. Three defeats followed, before a 1-0 victory over Brighton and, in a case of deja vu, another three losses ensued - the worst being a 5-1 defeat to Everton on Boxing Day.

While this might have crushed lesser sides, Burnley's knack for picking up a point here and there had kept them just three points from safety. Annoyingly, in a Neil Warnock-shaped middle finger aimed towards narrative, it was Cardiff that had climbed above them into 17th.

There appeared to be little need for panic, as Dyche had a plan to turn it all around. The back-three trialled in the latest trio of defeats was ditched, as was Joe Hart in Tom Heaton's much-needed restoration to the first team. At the other end of the pitch, Dwight McNeil was brought in as one of the two wingers and the end of striker tinkering saw Barnes and Wood gleefully reunited.

Ashley Barnes

It was the catalyst for three Burnley wins on the spin, in a run where they went undefeated in eight Premier League fixtures. For only the second time since the start of the 2016/17 season, the Clarets then lost four on the bounce, which they answered emphatically - the Ginger Mourinho guiding them to three wins and a draw in their following four matches.

With another win over Cardiff coming in that final push, the Clarets secured their ​Premier League status for a fourth successive season and reclaimed power in that low-key battle with Warnock.

So, should we be surprised at Burnley's ability to bounce bacn in emphatic style?

No, of course not. They've been doing it for years.