“I think he had the first signs …” – Burnley boss Sean Dyche isn’t surprised by Brendan Rodgers’ success

Sean Dyche and Brendan Rodgers

Dyche was an Under-18 coach at Watford when Rodgers took the reins of Vicarage Road in his first role as the number one first team in November 2008.

After leading the club to 13th place, avoiding relegation, Rodgers was chased by Reading, where he had been academy manager, with Malky Mackay taking over as Hornets boss, with Dyche his assistant.

Rodgers recovered from a rough patch at Madejski Stadium, where he left by mutual agreement after just six months, before enjoying great success with Swansea City, Liverpool, Celtic and now Leicester City.

And, ahead of Burnley’s trip to the Foxes on Saturday, Dyche said of his good friend: “I think he had the first signs… it’s not working out there.

“He then got back on the map with Swansea and of course came so close to winning the championship with Liverpool.

“He never lacked in ability, he just got more complete, more experienced, and it increased, moving on to Celtic and experience of that, then coming back to a good club like Leicester and taking it on in his own format and manner.

“His track record over the years has been very good, and like I said, I caught him very early on when he was learning on his own, as we always are.”

Rodgers almost ended Liverpool’s 24-year wait for a league title in 2014, and although Jurgen Klopp has since delivered his holy grail, Rodgers ‘role in the Reds’ revival is often outdated now.

And south of the border, winning back-to-back hat-tricks with Celtic might not get the respect it deserves.

However, Dyche has no doubts about his exploits: “In these clubs (Celtic and Rangers) you have to win the championship, and obviously he did, and the record he had there was fantastic.

“It’s different from a manager’s point of view because I have a lot of respect for managers, wherever they are, especially those who are advancing and succeeding.

“Because Jurgen Klopp came in and changed the way people see him and the club there, sometimes Brendan’s role gets a bit sidelined – he came so close to getting them to the title with a really good style, and a really good group of players, and got that close, but it didn’t continue.

“But he went on and did fantastically well at Celtic, where there is always a clear demand and expectation, but he won it and took care of it and won cups and the like, and now Leicester, and he had his successes there, so fair play.

“I think he’s done really well from the start until he is now.”

After winning Leicester’s first FA Cup in May, the Foxes started the season with two wins and three losses, but Dyche knows his team will have to be hard at work to get anything: “I think they’ve trained a good team there over the last few years, and I think he definitely added his own cachet to it and what he expects from them and how he wants them to operate, is pretty obvious.

“A little trickier start to the season, but I don’t think anyone thinks about it too much, certainly not, we know that they are a good team and that we will have to deliver a very good performance there. “

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