Dyche was always destined for great things, says PNE star

Kevin Davies
Kevin Davies
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Kevin Davies will lock horns with his old team-mate Sean Dyche when Preston North end host Burnley at Deepdale on Tuesday night.

The pair were colleagues at Chesterfield, Dyche a senior figure in the Spireites dressing room when Davies was starting his career.

Dyche, 43, is now making a name for himself in the world of management and against the odds guided the Clarets to promotion to the Premier League in May.

His rise to being a top-flight boss does not come as much of a surprise to North End front man Davies.

“Sean was quite an imposing figure in the dressing room,” Davies told the Evening Post.

“He was old-school in his ways, his football education having come under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest.

“I enjoyed my time playing in the Chesterfield team with him and I’ve stayed in touch with Sean.

“What he has achieved at Burnley has been impressive, I think they have got a top-class manager.

“I can see Sean going on to manage at a really high-class level in time.

“Some of his staff I used to work with at Bolton, and they speak highly of him.

“There is a lot of attention to detail and he has also got the knack of knowing when to put an arm round the shoulder.

“Sean has a lot going for him and it is great to see what he did at Burnley last season with the squad and the budget he had.

“I know they are probably favourites with the bookies to be relegated, but Sean will be really determined to make them hard to beat and keep the squad tightly-knit.

“I think they will cause a few upsets this season, especially at home.

“This is a good game for us to see how our build-up to the season is going.

“We played them at the start of last season in the Capital One Cup and put up a decent performance.

“In terms of the opposition, it is a bit of a step-up from the sides we played last week, so it will be a good test.”

With less than a fortnight to go before the Football League kicks-off its season, the visit of Burnley and that of Leicester on Saturday will signal some fine-tuning on PNE’s part.

While Simon Grayson is not expected to show his hand in terms of the side which will start against Notts County on August 9, there will be some indicators from these next two friendlies.

Davies said: “It is amazing how quickly the season comes around, it doesn’t seem that long since we were starting the summer break.

“We have had more than three weeks of tough training since we came back.

“Last week was really tough physically with three games and all the training in between.

“The new fitness coach has come in and worked us very hard in order to be fitter than last season, and we are all in good shape.

“Everyone had come back in good condition in the first place after doing the summer programmes we are given.”

“The Burnley and Leicester games are ones which we are all looking forward to, and it is about building towards that first game against Notts County.

“Our aim this season is to get into that top two in order to win automatic promotion.”