Dyche desperate to strengthen squad

first_img “The only over-lying marker that usually gets any deal done is money, we all know that. We will put good resources into certain areas and certain deals, but there is a limit. “The club’s future is important, not just the immediate future on the pitch.” Burnley are arguably bigger outsiders than they were when they reached the Premier League for the first time in 2009, a stay that lasted only one season. They begin their campaign by welcoming Chelsea to Turf Moor a week on Monday, allowing ‘the Ginger Mourinho’ to pit his wits against the real thing. Dyche knows his team will be written off before they have started but he is confident they have the right formula to surprise people. “We were underdogs last year and I think we got used to that,” said the 43-year-old former defender. “It can bring freedom. There’ll be an expectation from us, how we perform and how we go about it, but from the outside arguably we’ll be deemed probably one of the biggest underdogs there’s been in the Premier League for a while. “But we do know the underdog story. There’s not many, if you actually analyse underdog stories, that are by chance or luck. “So at the same time as being an underdog, we like to think there’s a way we go about our business that will give us a chance to do well and be competitive and win football matches.” Sean Dyche estimates he has made 500 phone calls this summer as he attempts to create a squad capable of staying in the Barclays Premier League. Dyche, who refused to comment on reports linking the club with Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury, said: ” It’s a challenge. “Some of it is intriguing to know what’s out there, what we can do and what we can’t do, and it’s annoying sometimes because there’s things you want to get pushed through and they drag and drag and drag, and we’ve had that on a few different situations. “We work hard. I reckon I’ve made 500 phone calls over the summer to managers to agents to coaches, background on players etc. And that’s just me, that’s not counting my staff, the recruitment side of things. “We keep looking and we keep searching for the ones that are appropriate and that can help us to enhance our chances of doing well this year. “We need more strength in depth but that doesn’t just come with anyone, we have to also make sure there’s some quality and talent there otherwise it would be counter productive. “There’s not a definitive number. I doubt we’ll hit 25 senior players, but we definitely want to enhance the numbers. “If we had the finance we’re spending now in the Championship, that would give us a real competitive edge. In the Premier League, we all know what it’s like. The numbers are vast, e ven for players who you wouldn’t recognise as being market leaders, but they move for very big fees and very big wages. “You could get frustrated by it but what’s the point? That’s not going to get any deals done. Press Association Dyche led Burnley to promotion from the Sky Bet Championship in May despite the Clarets having one of the smallest squads in the second tier. He has so far added goalkeeper Matt Gilks, midfielders Steven Reid, Matt Taylor and Michael Kightly and forwards Lukas Jutkiewicz and Marvin Sordell, but hopes to boost the numbers further before the end of the month. last_img read more

Under the Radar at UFC Fortaleza: Livia Renata Souza

first_imgPrior to every event, Under the Radar will cast the spotlight on an up-and-coming talent who shows the potential for growth in their division and isn’t getting enough attention as they head into battle.Name: Livia Renata Souza Record: 12-1 overall; 1-0 UFCDivision: StrawweightTeam: Team Vinicius Maximo / Atos Jiu-JitsuThe fact that Livia Renata Souza is unranked in the strawweight division while fighters like Alexa Grasso, Randa Markos and Mackenzie Dern hold down Top 15 spots is somewhat laughable, but it should change as soon as the 27-year-old Brazilian logs a couple more appearances inside the Octagon.A former titleholder under the Invicta FC banner, Souza made her UFC debut in September, making quick work of TUF 20 alum Alex Chambers to extend her winning streak to three. She backed the Australian up with the first right hand that landed over the top and remained in pursuit from that point forward.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearAfter connecting with a few more swinging hammers, Souza grabbed a leg and twisted Chambers down to the canvas, where she quickly climbed into mount before attacking a guillotine and securing the tap from top position.While beating Chambers was expected, the performance showcased why Souza is someone everyone should be paying attention to in the strawweight division.Souza is hyper-confident and dangerous in every facet of the game, plus she’s earned some quality victories over tough opposition on her way to the UFC. Where some people will look at her resume, see her split decision title loss to Angela Hill, who has struggled to find consistency in the UFC herself, and minimize her potential, the reality is that Souza’s victories over Ayaka Hamasaki and Janaisa Morandin in 2017 are excellent performances, as were her wins over Katja Kankaanpaa and DeAnna Bennett prior to her bout with Hill.What was most impressive about her victory over Chambers is that Souza looked to have filled out a little and dialed in the offensive weaponry that made her so much fun to watch during her time in Invicta FC. Though she is still ultra-aggressive and throws power every time, there is a little more understanding of how to put everything together. As she continues to mature as a fighter, Souza is only going to become even more dangerous as she already has the aggressiveness, tenacity and well-rounded skill set needed to be a contender in the 115-pound weight class.This weekend’s matchup with Sarah Frota isn’t likely to garner Souza a great deal of attention, as Frota is a promotional newcomer who has fought exclusively in Brazil prior to impressing on last summer’s all-Brazilian edition of the Contender Series in Las Vegas. Even though she’s 9-0 and a definite threat, unheralded newcomers never get the respect they deserve and that often works against their opponents, especially if they win in dominant fashion. That being said, Souza has the personality and talent to make a statement this weekend in Fortaleza and her Invicta FC pedigree, coupled with how wide open things are within the strawweight division should afford her an opportunity to make an expedited push to contention in 2019.There are fighters in the division who are going to get more media attention and carry more buzz — most notably Mackenzie Dern and Maycee Barber — but Souza is already more accomplished than both and should be included in any conversation about fighters with championship potential in the 115-pound weight class.With a victory this weekend, “The Brazilian Gangster” should earn herself a chance to share the cage with a ranked opponent next time out and depending on how things shake out the rest of the year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Souza entrenched in the Top 10 and potentially in the title conversation by the time the year is out.last_img read more