Sean Dyche will be pleased to hear that he is one the finest managers around, at least in the eyes of those currently obeying his orders at Burnley.
Few fancied them to make the step up, with a squad lacking depth expected to falter at some stage.
The same issues have been raised now that Burnley are in the big time, with questions asked of the quality and experience at Dyche’s disposal.
He is, however, not one to let the views of outsiders influence his thinking, with a no-nonsense approach to coaching having carried him this far.
His methods are also being embraced by his players, with careful man-management and an us-against-the-world mentality ensuring that Burnley have not been cast adrift in the battle to beat the drop.
Jason Shackell is among those expecting Dyche to continue defying the odds, with the experienced defender – who has also turned out for the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Norwich City and Derby County – of the opinion that his current boss is the pick of those he has had the pleasure of working with.
He told the Clarets’ official website: “To put it simply, he’s probably the best manager I’ve worked with. He breeds confidence, he’s a great man-manager and he wants you to play.
“Of course, he likes to find a balance of play, but he’ll never have a go at you for trying to do the right things and pass the ball. He’s great to work with day in, day out.
“I definitely feel I’ve improved under him as we all have really. He sets out very clearly what he expects from everybody in every position and whoever steps into the team, they know exactly what to do.”
Burnley may be sat second-from-bottom in the top-flight standings, but they have collected seven points from a three-match unbeaten run of late.
They appear to have found their feet among English football’s elite following a testing start and will be starting to believe that, if key men such as Danny Ings can be retained, there is every chance of them steering a course to safety.
There are, however, a number of hurdles to clear before that dream can become a reality, with their run through to the end of 2014 set to see them take in meetings with Newcastle United, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as a crunch clash with fellow strugglers Queens Park Rangers.