Burnley boss Sean Dyche defends ‘passionate’ exchange with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling

Sean Dyche insists he was only backing his players “to the hilt” after an exchange of words with Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling was picked up by microphones.

Friday, 2nd October 2020, 10:30 pm
Updated Friday, 2nd October 2020, 10:36 pm
Raheem Sterling fouls Matt Lowton

As Burnley went down 3-0 to holders City in the Carabao Cup at Turf Moor on Wednesday night, England forward Sterling was booked for a late lunge on Matt Lowton, which has left the right back facing a spell on the sidelines with knee and ankle problems.

With grounds still without fans, players and management’s words are now often audible, and as Sterling appears to tell Lowton to get up, Dyche reacted, saying: “Get up? Are you sure? You spend half your f###ing life on the floor son!”

The use of expletives attracted much attention on social media, but Dyche insists it was just him being typically passionate on the touchline,

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While apologising if anyone was offended by his words, Dyche said: “There’s no problem. There’s a lot on Twitter about me having a go at him.

”The truth of it is, Ben Mee put a tackle in on a player (Liverpool’s Joe Gomez) and it made almost news that he had actually tackled someone.

“You can’t have it both ways.

”I’ve got no problem with the tackle by the way, I wish tackling was more prevalent, I think it’s gone out of the game. I’ve got no problem with that, it’s unfortunate the player has got injured, let me make that clear.

“But you can’t then not say anything when a player is standing over another player saying ‘get up, there’s nothing with you’. That’s wrong.

“I’m not having that, so that’s when you step in and go ‘no, no, no, fair’s fair’.

“So there’s no crying over it, it’s just a moment in time.

“Statistically, and it’s not my opinion, Man City give away a lot of technical fouls, so if that’s part of their game plan and style, that’s up to the manager and his team.

“That’s not my opinion on it, that’s just what I’ve been told as a fact, rather than my opinion.”

And Dyche shrugged off the incident, adding: “I’m just saying I heard him, ‘get up, there’s nothing wrong with you’.

”I make it clear, I’ve not really got that much problem with that either, so come on, fair’s fair, you can’t have it always.

“That’s just what I reminded him of, and possibly, possibly some of his moments in football.

“No drama, I’ve got no problem at all, I need to make that clear, I’ve got no problem with the tackle, I don’t think there’s any malice in it.

“You didn’t see Matt Lowton rolling around, you didn’t see him rolling off the pitch, you didn’t see him holding his face.

“There was a bit of toing and froing and a few words which mean very little in the grand scheme of things.”

Dyche feels it was a warts and all display of what goes on on the touchline in football: “That’s the weird thing, people want the plastic side of football, all the fakeism, then you give them a bit of reality and they don’t like that either.

“I was showing the reality because I’m passionate. I want my team to do well and I will back them to the hilt when they need it.

“In that moment, I felt they needed it.

“That was a little insight, that’s my job. If people want plastic stuff, they can turn it off and listen to someone else.”