Sean Dyche believes humour has been a useful distraction for Burnley in some situations where they have found themselves with their backs to the wall in the Premier League.
Dyche’s offbeat exchange with reporters about lookalikes earlier this week was a topic that was revisited on a number of occasions as he previewed the visit of Brighton to Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon.
The Burnley manager reflected that there have been low moments since joining the club in October 2012 but revealed he and his players have been known to occasionally relieve the tension with light-hearted comments.
BIG WEEKEND: Liverpool v Man City, Pogba, Mourinho, Saints
“We’ve had some really tough times; very pressurised, full of anxiety and you’ve got to diffuse that at times,” Dyche said. “It’s certainly something I’ve believed in throughout my life.
“The hardest things can find the funniest moments, I don’t mean crass or awkward moments or horrible ones. It’s a deadly serious moment in our world but there still has to be a moment where everyone can relax a little bit.
“You still have to do the job, no matter who you’re playing against. A bit of humour doesn’t go amiss.
“I accept humour from the players as well. It’s not a one-way street, they can have the odd flippant or funny remark.
“Going back to lookalikes, we did have a lookalike board, I’m not going to tell you who was on it but there were some brilliant ones which the players put on themselves.”
It is unusual for top-flight managers to have light-hearted exchanges when the cameras are on in press conferences and Dyche thinks he knows why.
“If you try to have a joke or a one-liner or fun about anything, it’s turned around on you, virtually always,” he added. “It’s a shame but that’s modern life, I get that.
“Some managers who probably have way more humour – and I know some that are for a fact – they just go ‘there’s no point because I ended up getting it turned on me’. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
“Most managers, in my experience, put a straight bat on it, bat it away and try to not show the truth of who they are.”
Burnley, who are 17th in the standings but eight points clear of the drop zone, may be without full-back Charlie Taylor, winger Robbie Brady, midfielder Josh Brownhill and strikers Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes this weekend.
The quintet were all absent for the midweek defeat against Manchester City and could miss out once more against Brighton, who emulated Burnley in defeating Liverpool at Anfield to leapfrog the Clarets into 15th in the table.
“Brighton are a good outfit,” Dyche added. “Liverpool are not quite on song but you’re not bothered about that, you’ve still got to play well, which they did.
“I saw most of the game, they defended well and in numbers but still attacked well and found the balance. They’ll be looking to do that again.”