Realistic Dyche happy to take a share of spoils

HAPPY BOSS: Sean Dyche acknowledges the travelling Burnley fans after salvaging a point at Millwall on Saturday
HAPPY BOSS: Sean Dyche acknowledges the travelling Burnley fans after salvaging a point at Millwall on Saturday

Sean Dyche was realistic enough to be relatively happy with a point at Millwall, rather than disappointed not to win.

Burnley were searching for an eighth-successive league win to cement their hold on top spot in the Championship.

But at 2-0 down after 38 minutes, that looked highly unlikely.

However, goals from Sam Vokes - 47 seconds after Millwall’s second - and Michael Kightly, bundled in by Lions left back Shane Lowry - put the Clarets level.

Scott Arfield hit a post, and Vokes was denied what looked a clear penalty, as Burnley searched for a winner.

But they had to settle for a point, the first time they have dropped league points since September 14th.

Dyche said: “We didn’t start well for the first half an hour, we didn’t look like ourselves, we didn’t play well and we gave them an opportunity to get their noses in front.

“The first one’s a good goal from their point of view, not from ours, but the second one is a huge deflection and a bit of luck.

“But to respond so quickly it immediately jogged us back into life and we seemed to respond mentally and physically with the quality to get a goal back.

“We had a chat with them at half-time and reminded them of what a good side we think they are and they’ve delivered a very good second half and overall probably should have edged it, particularly with the chances in the second half.

“I gave them a bit of a rally really because we just didn’t look ourselves until the last 10 minutes of the first half.

“But we explained they’d done well to get themselves a lifeline through Sam Vokes, which was a good goal, and it was about moving that momentum through into the second half, and for most of the second half we did.

“It can’t always be your day. You’ve got 11 others out there constantly trying to stop you and trying to get a win themselves.

“We know over a Championship season it doesn’t always click, it doesn’t always work, but it’s coming through those periods and I thought we did that.”

Burnley had a torrid journey south on Friday with the motorways clogged up somewhat, but Dyche didn’t feel that contributed to a slow start: “It’s a strange one.

“There was a strange feeling in the stadium in the first 15 minutes. I played here and felt it was a bit flat to be honest with the team and the fans.

“I think a couple of decisions brought it to life if I’m honest, and a goal from them which they’ll look at as a good goal, we felt it was a poor goal from us defensively.

“The second one’s a fluke because it takes a massive deflection.

“But to respond as quickly as we did with the quality we did, it’s another good sign of the journey that we’re on.

“I thought in the second half we were back looking like ourselves, I thought we played some very good football and shifted it through the units quite quickly and that (Arfield hitting the post) was a great example of that, Scott coming off his shape to get an opening which unfortunately hit the post and it was off the back of that Sam Vokes got brought down, which I thought was a penalty.

“Anywhere else on the pitch that’s a free kick.

“I thought the referee had a good game. It’s a tough place to referee at and I thought he had a good balance overall.

“But if that incident happens anywhere else on the pitch I think it gets given as a foul so therefore it’s a penalty.

“I’ve had a look at it and I did feel it was a penalty, but you don’t get them all.”

Kightly’s leveller was credited as a Lowry own goal, but the winger was claiming it, and Dyche concurred: “I’m sure he’ll claim it, why not?

“He was quiet early in the game and then he came to life, as did Scotty Arfield.

“Jonah came to life in the second half and all of a sudden we looked back to what we are, which I think is a good side.

“There were some good signs from a lot of individuals over the whole 90 minutes, it was just that first half an hour we didn’t look ourselves.”

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