'Brave' Burnley building solid foundations

While scoring goals has proved difficult so far this season, conversely Burnley have largely kept sides away from their own goal.

The Clarets have only netted twice in three games, as many as they have conceded, despite a tally of seven shots on target, to three against.

And boss Vincent Kompany points to his side’s defensive bravery, despite acknowledging they are a smaller team than Burnley became renowned for under Sean Dyche.

The Clarets had a reputation as an uncompromising defensive unit, but while the manager and personnel has changed, that ‘Thou shalt not pass’ mantra remains.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Joao Pedro of Watford is challenged by Taylor Harwood-Bellis of Burnley during the Sky Bet Championship between Watford and Burnley at Vicarage Road on August 12, 2022 in Watford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

And Kompany hailed his players, ahead of Tuesday night’s home game with Hull City: “The main thing for me is are the lads working hard, putting in challenges when they need to?

“We might have dropped a little bit in size compared to previous teams, but the reason we don't concede many shots is we're as brave as anything.

“There are numbers around the ball, we come out with the ball, and that is more important.

“If you don't have that, you can't be at our club, in our team, impossible.

"That stands out for me, then comes the footballing side, which we'll get a lot of joy with.”

Burnley have come up against a couple of physical tests so far, in Luton and Watford, while there was a learning curve at Vicarage Road for Manuel Benson, who struggled to get into the game after being fouled three times by Hassane Kamara in the first 10 minutes.

But Kompany is happy to see referees letting more things go, as we witnessed in the Chelsea game with Spurs on Sunday, which was something of a throwback.

This time last year there was much debate over the “light touch” protocol, with niggly fouls more likely to be waved away, in an effort to make the game more free-flowing.

And, having spent the last three seasons in Belgium with Anderlecht, he said: "I think the best thing about England is that the game is allowed to go on, and you can see in the Premier League as well, there are less fouls given, and that is so important.

"Lads are fit nowadays, and the intensity is what makes it - you don't realise it because you're here, but when you're abroad there's a big difference, and it's the biggest asset, that intensity to the game.

"Referees allow games to play on, but then there are fouls where you are asking to get booked, which you shouldn't turn down either, that's not about challenges to win the ball.

“But in England, there's a good management with the refs and tactical fouls, I think, even within the first five minutes, you would get a yellow card for a tactical foul, which is the right thing to do, and as long as we read the game in that way, it's going to be physical, and we want it to be, we want to be one of the teams that can do it.”