Burnley boss Mike Jackson's thoughts on the 1-0 defeat at Tottenham
While aggrieved at Harry Kane’s controversial penalty winner, Burnley interim boss Mike Jackson prefered to look at the positives after a valiant display at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Jackson sent his side out in a 5-3-2 formation, with Matt Lowton brought in as a third centre back, while Ashley Barnes partnered Maxwel Cornet up front, and the Clarets frustrated the Champions League-chasing hosts.
However, in first half injury time, Davinson Sanchez’s innocuous flick struck Barnes’ outstretched arm in the area, with the Burnley forward having been pulled awaiting a corner coming into the box.
After few appeals and a significant period spent assessing whether the ball actually hit Barnes’ arm, and whether it deviated the flight, Kevin Friend pointed to the spot, and England captain Kane beat Nick Pope from the spot.
Burnley kept their composure and could have claimed an equaliser, with Barnes hitting the post from distance, and Jackson said: "I have just watched it back now. I don’t think it is a penalty.
"You have to look at it in context of what has happened before the ball has even come in, it is an 18-yard box, with bodies in it, people competing.
"Someone pulls Ash's arm, he is trying to keep his balance, ball comes in, how he can get out of the way of it, I don’t know.
"You can’t stand in an 18-yard box with your arms by your side. You don’t do that.
"I don’t know if the referee has played football, but you don't do that, your arms are there to protect you and help you move, give you your strength.
"Nobody has even appealed for a penalty.
"You could go back before the ball has come in and say there have been three shirt pulls, someone pulled someone's arm, and you'd never get the game going.
"I am annoyed at that, but on the flipside I am really proud of the group.
"They have had a right go today. I have seen really good signs, and a group that was fighting and had that spirit still.
"That was really pleasing to see, so I don’t want to take away my annoyance on something when the group have really attacked that today.”
Burnley’s gutsy display deserved better, and Jackson added: "You can say that. We haven’t got what we wanted. That is my personal thing I am annoyed about.
"You get into half-time. and it has been a good half, we have frustrated them, had a couple of chances ourselves, grew into the game, which we knew we'd have to, kept their really good players quiet.
"It is a bit of a blow but we came out and created some more chances, we just needed that bit of luck to go our way, Popey has made some saves when we were chasing the game as well.
"Ash hit the post – I thought that was in. we just need those margins.”
And he explained his decision to line up with three centre backs: "You look at a team like Spurs and how they play and how a lot of teams play against them, and the personnel we had available, we thought that would be the best way, from what we;ve seen, looking at teams who have played well against them and those who struggled.”
The Clarets have two games to preserve their Premier League status, at Aston Villa on Thursday night and at home to Newcastle on Sunday, and Jackson noted: “We will see how the land lies. It was a big moment today, we have not come here and wilted.”