Sean Dyche ‘thrilled’ with performance against Reading

Thrilled: Burnley boss Sean Dyche
Thrilled: Burnley boss Sean Dyche

Manager of the month Sean Dyche was “thrilled” with his players as they went into the international break top of the Championship.

Danny Ings scored his 11th goal and Sam Vokes his eighth in 13 games as the Clarets beat Reading 2-1 at Turf Moor on Saturday - their sixth successive win in all competitions.

Asked if it was his side’s most complete performance of the season, Dyche said: “It’s up there, Reading have a good manager, very good experienced players, but I thought we shifted the ball and kept it well, our framework was good - all the things you look for as a manager were there.

“They got a goal out of nothing, which can happen, but we managed the game well and there were good signs from the professional point of view and I’m thrilled with them.

“They deserve everything they’re getting at the moment.

“Minimum requirement is maximum effort, and they’re giving that, there’s no two way about it.

“I thought the shape looked good, I didn’t want to make changes, Michael Kightly looked fit and well. I said when he came in that he needed games, and I thought he was excellent, not only his play, but his breaking up of the play.

“The back four were nice and solid, Vokesey and Ingsy, what a partnership they are becoming, Scotty Arfield does that relentless work that some people don’t notice, Marns again covers miles...I make it clear you need a framework, tactical understanding, quality, good playas, effective players, but you also need a work ethic, and we’ve got that.

“That bonds the team together and allows the team to flourish.”

He added: “I try and be balanced in my opinion and I thought we were absolutely excellent, we created many chances and looked solid.

“I think Tom Heaton was quiet. He made one very good save, which now and again he has to do like any keeper, but their keeper was excellent, and that’s always a sign that you’ve created many chances.

“There were very good signs about the group again, it’s a work in progress, and I like the honesty within the group.

“They’re not taking things for granted or getting involved in things around the situation, including me getting the manager of the month award.

“A lot is made of that, but we cleared that out of their minds and they had a good focus and delivered a really good performance.”

Having gone top with the 2-0 win at Doncaster on Tuesday night, Dyche having been named manager of the month, and Ings earning an England Under 21 call, a lot of focus has been on Burnley, but for Dyche, it was business as usual: “The only thing I spoke to the players about was the responsibility of having good times - you can’t take it for granted and the pleasing thing for new as they started well, looked alive and there was no fear, no regrets.

“You can’t come off a football pitch thinking ‘if only’, they’re delivering, safeguarding it and building on it.

“Being successful brings more attention and that needs managing, we spoke about it during the week, and some of it is private, but there are things to prevent that from happening, other than just performing.

“Some of the players have experienced it before.

“I don’t read any of it. I just keep to the plan.

“We’ve shown again we can compete against anyone, which is what we’ve wanted to do in every game we go into.

“There are magnificent signs of that, adding some quality players and a good framework and we’re onto something.

“It doesn’t guarantee the outcome, other than we’re being really competitive in every game we play.”

The fans also seem on board with what Dyche and his players are tying to do, and he said: “I said last year we had to try to live up to an expectation at the club, and people said I was blaming the fans - I wasn’t at all.

“There is an expectation, there always has been, I think it’s calmed and realigned slightly, we work with the group we’ve got and I’m pleased with the signs.

“If the fans join in with that, fantastic. The challenge comes when you don’t win a game, two or three, which can happen. That’s when fan mentality can play a part, that’s when the team need help and support.

“Hopefully that won’t come, the stats, the league, suggests it might.

“We’ll do our best to safeguard against that and hope the fans come with us on the journey.”