Burnley manager Sean Dyche enjoys taking on the best coaches the Premier League has to offer but admits it will never be a level playing field for him.
Just four days after facing Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City he tackles Jose Mourinho and his resurgent Tottenham side.
Since returning to the top flight for the 2016-17 season the club have recorded only three victories against the established top six: Liverpool in August 2016, Chelsea a year later and Spurs 10 months ago.
While Dyche relishes the challenge of taking on superstar managers, he knows it can never be a truly fair fight because of the resources they have at their disposal.
“You can put your wits against Pep Guardiola but I haven’t got a team worth half-a-billion pounds or whatever it is,” said the Clarets boss, whose side were beaten 4-1 by City in midweek.
“It is not a level playing field, everyone knows that.
“We look forward to what is a good opportunity to recover good form because we’ve had a couple of slips this week, although one was against Man City.
“There are some games coming we think we can definitely compete in.”
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First-choice strike pair of Chris Wood (six goals in eight matches) and Ashley Barnes (six in 14) look like being reunited after the latter’s groin issue was rested in midweek.
The duo have earned a lot of praise this season but Dyche wants to see further progress.
“Woody and Barnsey are the main two people are talking about but they are not Harry Kane yet,” he added.
“We are looking for the players to continue to adapt and improve. We like to think players, no matter what their age, are looking to do that.”
On-loan Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater made his long-awaited league debut for the club in midweek after nearly three months out following an incident outside a nightclub that left him with an ankle injury.
“There is no measure on that performance (against City). We know he needs true Premier League fitness, as in game time,” said the manager, who has not yet decided whether to keep the player until the January 6 expiration of his loan deal.
“It is difficult to shortcut true Premier League fitness, it does take time and he knows that.
“He has been around the game long enough, he knows Burnley Football Club is not a walk in the park, we don’t stroll through the Premier League.”