Burnley boss Sean Dyche on the mixed football which saw off Crystal Palace
And he was delighted with the way his side adapted to the task to beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Monday night,
Dyche is well-renowned for his love of mixed football, to be able to hurt teams in as many ways as possible, rather than sticking to one brand or identity,
He has often spoken of his admiration for Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering Manchester United sides, and their ability to pass teams off the pitch, to over-power them, be direct, win ugly, profit from set-pieces, show a stronger mentality - whatever it took to win.
Burnley can be somewhat pigeon-holed as a direct side, but there is far more subtlety to their play than many give them credit for.
Without strikers Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Jay Rodriguez, they had to tailor their game more, to suit Matej Vydra’s strengths, with Dwight McNeil popping up in the hole to influence proceedings.
The Clarets enjoyed 53% possession in the first half, before Palace responded after the break, but Burnley managed to conjure up a goal from a set play, and defended for their lives, especially when forced to go 5-4-1 after Jack Cork’s injury,
Dyche said: "We adapted to the challenge.
”You have to play well and there is a team out there trying to stop you playing well and play well themselves.
"Sometimes you have to be flexible and it is very rare we dominate Premier League games.
"I think the players have learned that.
"We were on top and playing and moving the ball well in the first half, sometimes we dominate physically with our pressing, and you have to defend right, and I thought we defended very well .
"We worked very hard as a unit, and even when we had to change I thought the team slotted in very well.
"It is a strange one because even though a five from a four doesn't seem a big difference, for the full backs it is hard at times to know when to drive out and when to keep shape and I thought we did that well.”
Phil Bardsley came in for his first game after the restart, for the injured Matt Lowton at right back, keeping Wilfried Zaha quiet, with the help of Josh Brownhill, before making up a back five, with Zaha moving inside.
Dyche added: "Bardo has come in and is very pleased to be back in the fold here.
"He is an excellent pro and worked very hard for his performance.
"Lowts has been unlucky with what has happened to his foot but Bardo has come in and delivered.
”I thought there were some really good performances.
”Josh Brownhill we have been wondering when is he going to get his chance, which he has got, playing slightly out of position, but he did really well. He had his energy but I thought he had some quality too.
"Dwight stayed in the game, the two centre halves were strong, it was an all round good team performance.
"Erik Pieters playing left side, he has played there, but he is a left back really. He delivers, he stayed in the right shape and he deals with the ball when he can.
"There were a lot of good performances.”