Sean Dyche's five years at Burnley
Last Updated: 30/10/17 9:53am
Monday marks five years since Sean Dyche took charge of Burnley and his stock has never been higher.
In that time, he has twice earned promotion to the Premier League and overcome the disappointment of relegation, his achievements prompting links with Everton following Ronald Koeman's sacking.
Dyche has admitted he is "flattered" by links to the vacant managerial post at Goodison Park but remains focused on the job at Burnley. Ahead of his side's clash with Newcastle, live on Monday Night Football, we re-examine his work at Turf Moor.
The Clarets were 14th in the Championship and five points outside the play-off positions when they turned to the former defender to replace Eddie Howe. It was the Clarets' third managerial change in under three years.
Owen Coyle, Brian Laws and Howe all departed bringing with it such instability that there was little belief in a return to the top flight.
Dyche watched from the stands as his new team were humbled 4-0 by Cardiff City in late October, but club co-chairmen John Banaszkiewicz and Mike Garlick believed they had found the right man to take the club forward.
It was clear the area he needed to primarily address - the defence. Burnley had shipped 29 goals in 13 league games - the worst record in the Championship.
He enjoyed the perfect start, a 2-0 win over Wolves at home thanks to goals from Martin Paterson and Charlie Austin. The result offered encouragement to the new manager but the side ultimately finished in 11th place, seven points adrift of the play-offs.
Dyche in numbers
4: The former defender captained four of the six teams he played for, including Chesterfield in an FA Cup semi-final in 1997
5: The number of full England internationals to progress from Dyche's tutelage
£35m: Burnley's net spend from five years under their manager
72: The number of league clean sheets for Burnley since November 2012
Dyche has kept the ship steady despite his squad being frequently rocked by key departures caused by a cash shortage on his arrival. On the eve of the 2013/14 season, QPR prised Charlie Austin away from Turf Moor, but by the time his first anniversary came around his side were top of the league after a run of seven straight wins.
A first victory over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park since 1979 underlined his popularity, succeeding where Joe Brown, Brian Miller, Stan Ternent, Steve Cotterill and Coyle had all failed, and promotion followed with 93 points placing them runners-up to champions Leicester City.
Danny Ings flourished in Austin's absence, scoring over 20 goals alongside Sam Vokes as Dyche fostered a spirit both within his players and on the terraces that made a mockery of the club's expected position, given their low budget and small squad.
The side conceded 37 goals all season - the division's tightest defence - and Dyche surpassed all expectations with a core group that had finished eighth, 13th and 11th respectively in their previous three Championship seasons.
Dyche opted not to heavily invest during the summer, sticking with the vast majority of those who helped guide the club back to the top flight. Tom Heaton, Kieran Trippier, Ben Mee, Scott Arfield and Ashley Barnes were given the chance to make the step up in class.
The club's total spend came to a little over £11m - QPR, who would finish bottom of the Premier League, spent four times the amount while Aston Villa, Sunderland and Newcastle all scrambled to safety having spent considerably more.
Burnley were in the relegation zone in November having failed to win any of their opening eight matches, but Dyche outlined his objectives beyond that campaign in an interview with Geoff Shreeves.
Surveying the building work at the club's Gawthorpe training ground, he said: "It's a big investment but you've got to move the club forward. Without a training ground, how can you?
"You have to have a belief in what you're about and what you do. We've got a really honest and really supportive group of players who I think can develop into a Premier League team."
Having finished five points short of survival, Burnley showed faith in Dyche by keeping him on in their quest to make an immediate return to the Premier League.
Sean Dyche - Burnley (all comps)
Trippier was sold to Tottenham after his £3.5m release clause was met in June 2015 - a fraction of his overall worth even then.
Dyche also lost Ings to Liverpool, but the club showed their intent this time by making Andre Gray their record signing following his £11m arrival from Watford. Matthew Lowton and James Tarkowski arrived from Aston Villa and Brentford respectively as Dyche looked to continue moulding a side in his image.
Despite the squad shake-up, Burnley were untouchable during the second half of the campaign, recording a 23-game unbeaten streak to leave their title challengers in their wake.
Gray scored 25 goals as the Clarets became the 19th team to earn promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt after relegation.
Remarkably, just as in 2014, the Clarets finished the season with 93 points having again conceded just 37 goals to earn promotion - this time as champions.
Burnley made Robbie Brady their new club-record signing in the summer of 2016 when he arrived for £13.5m from Norwich while Jeff Hendrick joined for £10.6m from Derby.
Steven Defour added class to midfield and despite an abysmal away record, the club consolidated their Premier League status for the first time following promotion thanks to making Turf Moor a fortress.
By now, the club were structurally sound and boasting impressive £10m facilities at their Barnfield Training Centre, in line with Dyche's vision during his first season in the Premier League.
The Clarets faded after the shock FA Cup exit at home to National League side Lincoln City, with the club finishing in 16th place. A run of seven defeats in their final 12 games and a summer which saw Gray and Keane depart for a combined £48.5m resulted in many predicting a bleak 2017/18 campaign.
Despite the concerns, Burnley's defensive organisation under Dyche remains intact and Chris Wood now provides the side with an attacking focal point.
The Clarets having accumulated more points away from home than in the entirety of the 2016/17 season - despite facing Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City.
The key to Dyche's success so far has been the consistency in his line-up - Burnley have used just 17 players this term, fewer than any other side.
Dyche recorded his 100th league win as a manager in the 1-0 victory at Everton earlier this month
Craig Shakespeare's sacking at Leicester means there are now just four permanent English top-flight bosses: Howe, Chris Hughton and Paul Clement account for the other three.
The 46-year-old has shown throughout his reign a way to compete. To him, there is no such thing as a "free hit" only the bigger picture and "positive realities", which is why his legacy will always be more than just two promotions.
Half a decade into his Turf Moor tenure, Dyche is now one of the country's most coveted managers. With his straight-talking belligerence and inimitable style, it is impossible to ignore how far he has come.