Sean Dyche has backed Joey Barton to keep his cool even as his Premier League career continues to hang by a thread.
Burnley midfielder Barton looks increasingly likely to see out the season at Turf Moor despite the threat of a ban for breaking Football Association rules on betting.
Barton is still waiting for his punishment after the original hearing, scheduled for last month, was postponed because the chief investigator in the case is on sick leave.
Some players might be thrown by the uncertainty – but the 34-year-old appears to be taking it all in his stride.
And that is why Dyche , whose side visit Middlesbrough today looking for a first away win of the season, has no problem with continuing to pick Barton.
The Burnley boss said: “Joey’s had an interesting background of various events and he just keeps going.
“Other players, things would play on their mind. He just cracks on.
“It’s remarkable single mindedness, but he’s that type, he just gets on with the task.
“For us, he’s always been ‘show me the task, the expectation of what you want, I’ll tell you what I can do’, and we agree to move forward.”
A win at The Riverside would just about secure Premier League safety for Burnley – and would give Dyche a happy moment to treasure against Middlesbrough as a special anniversary approaches.
Dyche has mixed memories of facing Boro, having captained third-tier Chesterfield when they came within a whisker of beating them to reach the FA Cup final 20 years ago next Thursday.
The Burnley boss scored a penalty in a famous 3-3 draw at Old Trafford – when a couple of controversial decisions by referee David Elleray arguably cost the Spireites victory.
Dyche laughed: “If there’s a penalty on Saturday, I’ll not be taking it. I can assure you. I’ll remind you that I didn’t want to take that one. It’s well-documented. I’ll not be taking this one if we get one.
“The Chesterfield lads are doing a bit of a get-together, which I hope I’m going to get to. It is surreal, because it’s 20 years – it seems so near, yet so far away. Twenty years sounds a lot, and yet I can remember everything about that.”