(Reuters) – Burnley are back to being plucky underdogs after a poor start to the season that resulted from the team forgetting all the things that made them so successful in previous campaigns, manager Sean Dyche said on Thursday.
Dyche’s team finished seventh last season, but failed to qualify for the Europa League group stages while a run of one draw and four defeats has left them bottom of the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s game against Bournemouth.
Burnley’s return of one point from five games represents their worst start to a top-flight season since 1927-28, when they lost their opening five matches.
“We have kind of gone full circle in a very short time frame,” Dyche told reporters. “To start a season like this is not ideal so we have to look to correct that.
“You have got to be aware of the situation and the truth of the situation. We are actually back to being underdogs again.
“We are bottom of the league… (and) weirdly we’re back to being the sort of Burnley everyone supposes of us, which is usually every season being this underdog that has got to punch above its weight – which we have historically done.”
Dyche has been surprised by Burnley’s start.
“I was expecting us to do better,” he added. “You have got to have a DNA, if you like. You have got to have a feel how your group operate and we certainly have here. We have come away from that.
“There have been reminders of it – a couple of very good performances where we should have dealt with the opposition and we haven’t. But there have been a couple of spells where that is not like us and that is not what we are about.
“We definitely have to work hard to get back to that as a minimum. But it’s not easy winning games in the Premier League.”
Bournemouth, by comparison, have flown out of the blocks, with Eddie Howe’s men up to fifth in the table with three wins, a draw and one defeat in their first five matches.
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)