Burnley manager Sean Dyche has had his say on a possible “second season syndrome” for Sheffield United.
The Blades greatly impressed in 2019/20 in what was their first Premier League campaign for 12 years. They finished ninth in the table with the fourth best defensive record behind only the eventual top three.
Yet after a humbling 2-0 opening day defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday, some are asking if they’ll struggle this time around.
Dyche’s Clarets team face United in the second round of the Carabao Cup tonight and he’s not convinced by those opinions.
“I think it makes a very convenient media story or hit,” the 49-year-old said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by Lancashire Live.
“Is it all over for Sheffield Untied after one game? I doubt it!
“I think there is excitement and a thrill of a first season in the Premier League and everyone is a bit open with you and wants to see what you are all about.
“Then the opposition recognise you more so it is harder to catch teams out.
“In the second season you have to find some consistency in performance. Whereas the first season is full of that natural energy that comes from being in the Premier League.
“It is not that you can’t carry on and achieve it because we have but it is a different challenge.”
Why Dyche and Burnley are a good template for the Blades
Chris Wilder has previously spoken of his admiration for Dyche and how his team are a “benchmark” to emulate.
This is their fifth successive season in the top flight, during which time they have secured two top ten finishes.
It’s all been achieved with a modest budget and often making new signings from the Championship. Something very similar has been seen at Bramall Lane since the Blades’ promotion in 2019.