'As poor as we've been in a year' - Dyche

Clarets boss Sean Dyche admitted his side were as poor as they had been in a year in the first half of their 3-0 defeat at Chelsea.

Burnley went in at the break 2-0 down to goals from Eden Hazard and Willian, having failed to lay a glove on the hosts.

Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche

Asked whether Chelsea were too good, or his side weren't just at it, he said: "Both. First half was probably as poor as we've been in a year, I think, but against a very strong group.
"You don't have to look much behind the subs they brought on to realise how strong they are.

"Theres a huge gulf between where we are as a club and this club, but when the whistle blows, you want to be ready to perform, and we weren't.

"We didn't perform well at all in the first half, and you simply can't do that.

"Add in some really poor decisions against a really strong side, and you're going to be in trouble, and we were.

"Second half marginally better, the changes were good - I was pleased to see Aiden O'Neill, an 18-year-old on a football pitch in the Premier League, fantastic, and he held his own.

"Johann did really well when he came on, Tarky coming on in midfield is an interesting one, but that's where we are at the minute.

"They kept going, but nowhere near in the bigger picture, they were too strong."

Ending the game with an 18-year-old, albeit a talented one, and a centre back in the heart of midfield, was a stark reminder of the lack of central midfield options, ahead of deadline day, but Dyche said: "It's not a message to the board, it's a reality of where we are at as a club, in a tough market.

"Its not just us saying it's a tough market, I'm hearing managers across the board say that, but clubs like this can work beyond the tough market and keep paying.

"We're simply in a position where it's just not that easy to do."

He was disappointed with his players' use of the ball and decision making: "We gave the ball away awfully - there were too many poor decisions, for the second goal, Tom Heaton rolls the ball out when there's no need, we'd just been under pressure, keep the ball, calm down, the shape is off, kick it up the pitch.

"They counter, and score.

"You can't make bad decisions like that against teams like this, they have too much quality.

"You can go a goal down at places like this, so you have to keep your mentality. First half we didn't, second we got a bit stronger. That's not like us by the way, whether the result last week kind of tainted that in a bad way, it happens. But we were almost waiting to see what they did, which you can't do, you have to get about them, get amongst them, but we didn't.

"I think they've changed their gameplan, the full backs tuck in more, the widemen are asked to do a bit more work.

"We thought we were going to have more of the ball but we just didn't use it well, it looked like the one where you almost get too much time - players want it to be fast, so they can play through situations, but it almost looked like there was too much thinking time, and that gave us the wrong decisions.