Sean Dyche has insisted that staying at Burnley would not represent a lack of ambition as he is once again linked with Premier League rivals.
The 49-year-old is high on the bookies’ shortlist of candidates to replace Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace following confirmation that the former England boss will step down this summer.
Dyche declined to be drawn on the speculation but said he expected to hold talks with the Burnley board on a new contract in the coming weeks as he nears the last 12 months of his existing deal.
Having worked under financial restraints at Turf Moor for so long, securing what will be a sixth-consecutive season of Premier League football next term despite a relative lack of resources, Dyche could be forgiven for having his head turned.
But he insisted it was not as simple as all that.
“It depends how you measure ambition,” he said. “People could say sticking at Burnley is not ambitious but the work that has been done here is enormous. The club is a massively different club to the one I walked in to.
“That is not just down to me obviously, it’s down to lots of people. That’s ambition – to build a club – but it’s a different kind of ambition.
“People think it’s about just purely trying to go to the top of the game, to win trophies, and of course that’s the name of the game, but there’s more behind that.
“The number of jobs created here, the feel-good factor around the town, the recognition that the whole town gets here, that’s all ambition too. That’s meant a lot around these parts and I don’t lose sight of that…
“You can have all the ambition you want but you need the opportunity and I’ve got a good opportunity here to continue with these ambitions, to continue growing this club, and to see where this goes.”
While the exact ambitions of the ownership group who bought Burnley at the turn of the year are not yet clear, there is certainly hope that the club will soon be setting their sights higher than simple survival.
Their place in the Premier League for next season was secured with victory at Fulham last Monday, but results at Turf Moor remain disappointing.
The 4-0 defeat to Leeds on Saturday was a club record ninth top-flight home game without a win – and few will back them to end that run when 3,500 fans return for Wednesday night’s match against Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have perhaps been feeling the pressure of their Champions League chase, needing Alisson Becker’s dramatic last-minute header to win 2-1 on Sunday.
Asked if he had been working on defending against goalkeepers from corners as a result, Dyche laughed.
“I’d have seen him off, don’t worry about that,” he said. “It was a great finish though.
“It’s not that easy when the keeper comes up last minute. I don’t know if you expect (West Brom manager Sam Allardyce) to get his iPad out, ‘Right, we planned on this’. I don’t think the manager can be blamed for that one.”