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Dyche ready for Blues test

Last Updated: Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:45
Burnley

Boss Sean Dyche hopes his Burnley players will relish the challenge of facing Chelsea in their opening game of the season.

Burnley were the surprise package in the Championship promotion race last season and earned their spot in the top flight by finishing second in the division.

The Clarets inevitably have been tipped to go straight back down, the same fate that befell them in their only other Premier League season in 2009-10.

Dyche fully accepts his side are not competing on a level playing field, but said: "We're as ready as we can be.

"We've had a decent pre-season so we're happy with that. The players have come through fit and well mostly. We had a few scary ones early into pre-season but they were only minor things that players got over quickly.

"That's important. We're working with a low number at the moment, particularly compared to the norm in the Premier League.

"We're not naive, we understand the challenges and we understand some of the powerful clubs that are out there and some of the players that are out there.

"We want to be relentless in our attitude towards games."

There will be no chance for Burnley to ease themselves into life in the top flight with likely title challengers Chelsea their first opponents.

While Mourinho could give competitive debuts to Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, Dyche has brought in the likes of Steven Reid, Matt Taylor and Lukas Jutkiewicz.

"Who do you get in the Premier League who you think's going to be an easy one? I don't think there is such a thing," said Dyche.

"We've got to play them all at some point. For sure it's a tough challenge - fantastic manager, fantastic club, fantastic team, amazing power in the market.

"But there are no guarantees for anyone. Jose was open in saying it last year, he felt it was one of the leagues that he's worked in that's more open than others.

"We're obviously hoping so and we'll be working hard to make sure it is."

The match also brings Dyche into direct competition with Mourinho for the first time.

Burnley fans have dubbed Dyche the 'Ginger Mourinho' for his achievements at Turf Moor, a moniker the former defender is happy to wear.

"It's a bit of fun," he said. "The fans started it a long time ago.

"They haven't always called me that, I must say. It's amazing how success brings those tags. I think there's a nice connection between myself and the people of Burnley, and the players as well. And that's an important factor for us."

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