Sean Dyche is looking forward to having large crowds back at Turf Moor again as Burnley prepare for a season in which improved home form is a key target.
The Clarets won only four home games during a 2020-21 Premier League campaign that saw them playing in their stadium with no fans present for all but one match.
They begin the new season by hosting Brighton on Saturday, the first competitive match at Turf Moor with no coronavirus restrictions on crowd size since March last year.
Dyche, whose side finished 17th last term, 11 points clear of the relegation zone, said at his press conference ahead of the game: “We’re in good shape. I think we’re in good mental shape and physical shape.
“So we look forward to (it), and our own fans being in, the feeling that fans give players.
“It will be interesting as well with the bigger picture in football, the idea of home fans in stadiums, how we all spoke last season about the differential between away form, etcetera. So that will be interesting in the bigger picture.
“Then in our picture, we obviously want to make sure our home form goes back to where it has been, because it has been strong over many seasons.”
Dyche, in charge at Burnley since 2012, added of the supporters: “We’ve had a very close link.
“I think our fans have been incredibly fair over time. They have backed me, they have backed the team, through some tough times as well as some very good times, and I’d like to think that will come back in force again.”
🐝 Today we celebrate the critical role of fans in the game.
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) August 13, 2021
Asked about expectations and what can be achieved this season, Dyche said: “The job is forever demanding in the Premier League, our players know that, I know it.
“Nothing is taken for granted here, we have to earn the right for everything we get. You have to earn it, you can’t let it happen, you have to make it happen.
“I just want us to build season after season. The obvious one is to build on the points tally, but just build on performances, build on understanding, experience levels, individually and collectively, and I think if you get that right, you usually look after yourselves anyway.”
Burnley have so far made two new signings this summer in defender Nathan Collins and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
Dyche has spoken about his feeling that the squad needs adding to before the transfer window closes and said the club are looking at wide attacking players.
Burnley chairman Alan Pace was quoted by LancsLive and the Burnley Express on Friday as saying: “I think we’ll still be much stronger when we are done and many conversations are live as we speak.
“We have made multiple offers and so far obviously they haven’t worked. We continue.
“I would be super disappointed if we don’t have a good window because we have put so much effort into it but let’s see over the next couple of weeks.”