2017/18 Manager of the Year: Sean Dyche picks his contenders…

Ahead of the final day of the season, Burnley boss Sean Dyche discusses his candidates for manager of the year, with some surprise contenders.

Dyche himself is in the running for the award after guiding Burnley to a seventh-place finish in the Premier League and with it a return to European football for the first time in 51 years.

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However, the Clarets boss has put forward a number of names and not all of them are from the Premier League, with a trio of suggestions from outside the top flight…

Non-Premier League candidates

From a purely management point of view, I look at Millwall boss Neil Harris and John Coleman down the road, who has done terrific at Accrington – they are two that spring to mind.

Meanwhile, Cardiff manager Neil Warnock, what a job he has done – eight promotions.

Premier League candidates

You look in the Premier League at Brighton manager Chris Hughton, who has done a great job again, there is David Wagner at Huddersfield keeping them up.

Then there is Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez for different reasons, like noise off the pitch and seeing that through and getting the team to where they have got to.

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Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass Dyche’s choice…

There are so many for different reasons, but the obvious one is Pep Guardiola, and rightly so by the way. Of course, he deserves to be in there, fantastic.

I think the biggest thing about Pep – everyone goes on about the football, but I think that even at that level of management, I do not know him, but I can only presume that they looked at the end of last season and went, ‘Right, hang on a minute, what have we got to change?’

And he did change it. Even at that level, that implies to me that he is having to think about it. It is not like, ‘Oh well, we will just roll them out and it will all work.’

So that is the bit I see in the outside view of Pep, he is even at that level going, ‘Right, I need to adapt this, I need to change it.’ They will kick the ball longer now when they need to.

They would not last year, but they do now – not very often, but they do. They have a ‘keeper who can kick it the length of the pitch now.

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So that, for me, is learning and adapting. Not so many changes, not so many changes in tactical format. That for me is looking from the outside in going that’s a fella who even at that level is going, ‘Right, this is not enough, we need to change this.’

That is the bit I marvel at because I thought they played great stuff anyway, whether it is Pep or Manuel Pellegrini, as they have been playing great stuff for years.

But now there is a more fluid feel and a more workmanlike feel when they need to work. And I think that is the marvel of looking from the outside in at someone like Pep – even at that level with his experience still going, ‘No, this is not right, we have to change this.’

That is what I look at and that is the bit I see.