Sean Dyche was pleased with his players’ mentality as they claimed a point from a goalless draw at Leicester City.
But he admitted the result was irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, as the Foxes come to terms with the tragic loss of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Burnley were the first visitors to the King Power Stadium since the Thai businessman died, along with four others, in a helicopter crash after Leicester’s home draw with West Ham a fortnight ago.
And Dyche said: “It’s probably a rare feeling as a manager, because you want to win, of course, and if we had, it would have still been pretty much incidental in the grand scheme of things, it puts it into perspective when what’s happened has happened.
“We spoke about it on Monday to make sure the emotion was controllable for us, we weren’t sure how it would pan out, small things, they asked us to get here early, and we respected that, of course, no problem. We worked early in the week on how it might feel, how it might be, and once we got here, it was more about being professional. That’s the job, you have to play hard, and all football fans expect that.
“So pleased with how the players got on with it professionally, but overall, it’s irrelevant because today was bigger than a result.
“But, you’ve still got a professional job to do, so...it was very tough on us, coming here, but very tough on Leicester and their players this week.
“I’m only lifting things I’ve read and seen, but the travel time, and still trying to prepare for a game, very, very difficult.
“Complete professional respect for them, and, of course, for the situation.”
It was only a third Premier League clean sheet of the season, after shipping 13 in three games, and Dyche was happy to get back to basics: “It’s been tough, we’ve had a tough run of results, then you add in what went on today, and we’ve still got to give a performance, so I’m very pleased with the players.
“I’ve said many times, I have great pride in these players, they give a lot, and they get questioned, of course, it’s part of their job.
“But it’s easy to praise players when you’re winning and doing well, but they’ve been terrific, their mentality, the way they train, they way they go about their professionalism...
“We know we can improve, and there were good signs of that today.
“I didn’t mention last week the mentality to perform was good, and I think it was again today, in very difficult circumstances.”
Dyche said before the game he felt his players weren’t far from returning to their normal levels, and he added: “I thought we were better. The mixture we search for, to try and be effective in attack in different ways, and then try and stay solid at the back in transition.
“I thought that was better, they still had some chances, but it’s hard in the Premier League to stop a home team having chances.
“We had a couple of really good chances, Woody’s second half is a really golden chance.
“The balance was better, attacking and defending, to make sure you get something from the game, which we did.
“And the demand of the team for the clean sheet, we were back to blocking and doing the right things at the right times.
“There were some good performances. And there was a good shape to the team.
“It’s not just the chance count, it’s the quality of them. We’ve given up too many good quality chances, and that’s why it was better today, they didn’t forge too many really good quality chances, a few moments where the last pass was missing, but we had that ourselves.
“But Joe Hart has a pretty quiet afternoon overall.”