Dyche highlights continuity
Burnley and Leicester will both be playing in the Barclays Premier League next year and Clarets manager Sean Dyche insists the promoted duo have been rewarded for their faith in continuity.
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Dyche's men defeated Wigan at Turf Moor on Monday to ensure that they would finish inside the top two along with the table-topping Foxes, who can secure the Sky Bet Championship title with victory at Bolton on Tuesday night.
The pair have both been models of consistency this year, each using a league-fewest 23 players throughout the campaign to achieve their goals.
Pearson is also the division's longest-serving manager, having been appointed in November 2011, while Dyche is sixth on the list following his arrival in east Lancashire in October 2012.
And in a sport where constant change in pursuit of instant success is all too prevalent, the Burnley manager believes the two teams going up automatically from the second tier are examples of patience paying off.
"I think Nigel has done an incredible job," said Dyche.
"He was questioned there last season at Leicester and possibly there's a forward-thinking motion from different people that if you give people time they can do a good job.
"I was questioned last year, quite openly here about our finish. I thought it was a great finish, 11th; I thought it was a fantastic finish because I knew what was going on behind the scenes, the work that was being done.
"We've changed a lot here over 18 months behind the scenes and I'm pleased to say a lot of it has worked."
The Clarets' ascent into the top tier was one few people foresaw at the beginning of this campaign, particularly when striker Charlie Austin, who had grabbed 28 goals in the previous season, was sold to QPR just two days before Burnley's opening fixture.
The board explained that the sale of Austin to a big-spending divisional rival was needed to balance the books, with the Clarets no longer able to rely on the Premier League parachute payments accrued since their 2009-10 season in the top flight.
It was a timely dose of realism which Dyche thinks helped the club's fans rally behind those remaining at Turf Moor.
"A year ago we were looking over our shoulder when we finished 11th," the former Watford manager explained.
"That was only the fourth or fifth time in 15 seasons the club had finished in the top half of the table.
"The biggest thing that happened to us as a group was the board came out at the start of the season and told a few positive realities about the club. That allowed us more of a freedom to work.
"It balanced and realigned the expectation here because I think it had gone out of kilter, not in a bad way.
"That realignment gave the players the mentality to build this one-club mentality with the supporters. It's been absolutely evident that as the season's grown so has that bond with the players.
"It just goes to show if you get the positives from both sides it's a positive thing."
In Austin's absence, Sam Vokes and Danny Ings have formed a lethal partnership at the head of Burnley's attack to maintain the club's position in the top three, where they have remained since early September.
Ings was named Championship Player of the Year, has earned England Under-21 call-ups and has scored 25 times, the most recent goal ending a 35-year wait for a win over bitter rivals Blackburn.
However, it is 21-goal Vokes, a 24-year-old Welsh international who has already played for seven other clubs, who has really impressed his manager with his development over the course of the season.
"Two days before the season Charlie Austin got sold and there were big question marks," Dyche admitted.
"(But) Sam Vokes has been amazing; he's been the player who has developed most this season. And Danny Ings has come to the fore and is a tremendously talented young man."