Burnley manager Sean Dyche has flat-batted speculation he is set to take over at beleaguered Barclays Premier League club Sunderland.
Dyche, who saw his side return to winning ways in the Sky Bet Championship with a 2-1 success at Rotherham on Friday night, is reportedly the Black Cats’ number one target to replace Dick Advocaat, whose future is clouded in uncertainty following a torrid start to the season.
But Dyche, who built a fine reputation following the Clarets’ exploits in the Premier League last season, was not willing to discuss it.
“I was asked about this the other day, at the end of the day, I know it’s a paper story, that’s all I know,” he said.
“My focus is here, that’s all I can do. It’s nothing to do with me, it’s a paper story. I know nothing of that.”
His reputation will only have been enhanced after the win in South Yorkshire moved Burnley up to third ahead of Saturday’s games.
They took the three points thanks to Sam Vokes’ 80th-minute winner, which came after Grant Ward’s superb strike for Rotherham cancelled out Andre Gray’s early opener.
And Dyche was pleased his side came through a tough test against the managerless Millers.
“There has got to be credit to them, sometimes the hardest fight is the one that every thinks you’re going to win, but I thought we deserved it overall,” Dyche added.
“They kept fighting, they kept pressing, they pressed very hard, they gave everything to try and win. They get a worldy out of the blue and all of a sudden it’s ‘What’s gone on there’. I am delighted with the mentality of the players, it rubs off on each other.
“The madness of the Championship, I thought we were terrific last week and we lost and I thought were were okay tonight and we have won.
“That’s the challenge of the Championship, finding all those different ways to win the game.”
Rotherham were beginning life after Steve Evans under the caretaker management of Eric Black and they looked to have won a point after Ward’s stunning effort from distance in the 75th minute.
Black, in his sixth stint as caretaker, is not thinking about taking the reins on a permanent basis.
“I have no intention of seeking anything out, I have been asked by the chairman and I was flattered,” he said.
“I will just carry on until a decision is made. The chairman will make a decision that is right for the club. I am here, I am employed by the club, I will go along with that and see where it takes us.
“I just want to go and have a lie down. We are two men down on the training ground which puts a little bit of pressure on. We’ll reflect on the game and carry on from there.”