A SEASON and a half into his managerial career, Sean Dyche believes the win at Charlton was his best to date.
Taking into account the players unavailable to him - Dean Marney, Chris McCann, Ross Wallace, Michael Duff and Ben Mee - the Clarets deservedly ended a six-game winless run courtesy of Charlie Austin’s 25th goal of the season.
Dyche made five changes from the defeat at home to Huddersfield last Tuesday, handing his first Burnley signing Alex Kacaniclic a debut, and he was delighted with the performance and result at The Valley: “I think that’s the best result I’ve had as a young manager learning my trade.
“I must say not because we’ve been on an awkward run, but we’ve got five very important players who have gone missing for injury reasons, and we had to put a group together quickly.
“Young Alex came in on Friday night and only got to the hotel at 8 pm because of all the paperwork, so to deliver that balanced performance and to show the qualities we did in many different ways was terrific.
“Overall I think the things that go against you when you’re down there, we conquered them.
“I couldn’t believe the amount of soft decisions that went against us. I couldn’t believe the goal for us from Martin Paterson, which was a fantastic move and a great finish, was not given.
“I’ll look at it again but my analyst tells me it was onside.
“The main thing for me was it showed the great work we do with the players because people have come in out of the blue and had to deliver.
“There was a slight change to the shape, but the good habits were there in many different ways.”
It was a big reaction to the Huddersfield loss, but Dyche mused: “Everyone gets excitable about responses.
“The Championship’s a never-ending, unforgiving division. Runs can come and go, up and down, weird results.
“Middlesbrough just ended their run by beating Cardiff. Do you see that coming? Probably not.
“I don’t get too high with the highs and too low with the lows. We won four out of five and I wasn’t jumping through hoops telling everyone we’re the best team in the division.
“We were on an awkward run until Saturday, but I hadn’t been crying over it saying we were the worst team in the division.
“What I am saying is we’re a team that’s improving in many different ways and some of those ways were on show on Saturday.”
Dyche was disappointed not to be more than one goal ahead after an impressive first half display: “In the first half we played really well on a really difficult surface.
“I thought we dealt with the surface, we mixed our game up, we played progressive attacking football.
“In the second half we had to completely changed because of the barrage of long balls that came in the box. It was never ending from start to finish from all areas of the pitch.
“It showed a different quality to us. But I said to the lads at half-time that was the likelihood.
“It shows a different way, and it shows the will and the demand.”
Austin netted his first goal in four weeks, and Dyche was pleased to see him back on the goal trail: “You know what it’s like, you have an awkward run and you all get questioned.
“He’s been questioned and I think he probably answered those questions with a fantastic finish. That’s top-drawer.”
Kacaniclic’s performance was also a big plus: “For his type of style of play that pitch is difficult.
“But he showed a brightness to him but he’ll get used to the group and react to the group.
“He’s a very good player.
“There are so many positives.
“The back four includes two people who have 25 games between them in the Championship. What a great experience that is of being dominant in one half and having the ball smashed down your throat for the second half.
“That’s not having a go at Charlton – you have to find a way of winning; we’ve had to find a way of winning. There are many different ways to win a football match.
“Our group is a mixed group. It’s not loads of men who have been in the Championship for years and years and years – or certainly not today with four or five missing with injuries.”