From day one, Sean Dyche made it clear to his Burnley players exactly what kind of atmosphere he was looking to cultivate at Turf Moor.
Sean Dyche is currently the longest-serving manager of any team in the Premier League and while he’s had his ups and downs with Burnley, his job is arguably one of the safest in England’s top flight.
Dyche, a no-nonsense centre-half who developed into an even-less-nonsense manager, has been in charge of the Clarets since 2012 and while he has dealt with one relegation to the Championship, Dyche has kept the club in the Premier League since 2016.
Dyche’s first point of business when he took over at Turf Moor was to sniff out any hint of negativity in the dressing room and he did that by asking the players already at the club to reveal the number of players who had the potential to bring down the team spirit.
Manchester United’s current third-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant was at Burnley when Dyche arrived and he recalled his first experience of the manager.
“One of the first things Sean did was hand each of us a sheet of paper,” Grant told The Athletic.
“He said he wanted to know from every player, anonymously, how many players there were in the dressing room who were… not snakes, perhaps, but capable of damaging the team spirit because they had a toxic attitude. ‘How many players have I got who are going to be a negative influence?’ he said. ‘I don’t want their names, just the number. Then leave the rest to me’.
“We all wrote down a number — some of the lads might have said one, some might have said 10 — and then he collected them in.
“He came back with the average score and said, ‘Right, I think there are two lads in here who are poisonous to the group and now it’s my job to find out who they are and weed them out’.
“And, as you can imagine, Sean didn’t waste much time on that front. It was a huge thing for him not to have that negativity in the dressing room.”