Dyche bemoans lack of cutting edge

Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche felt his side lacked cutting edge and guile in their 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough.

The Clarets failed to score for the third successive game as they suffered a second defeat in three outings.

Emilio Nsue scored the only goal eight minutes after the restart, as Dyche's reshaped 4-2-3-1 couldn't end a run of five games without a win.

Dyche said: "It was a very tough and tight game against a very good side, that's clear from their home form this season - I think they've only conceded two goals here.

"And they are a side that has been building for two and half years, they nearly made it last year and the expectation is to go one better this year.

"We knew we were in for a tough game and we looked to flex the group, change the game plan, and it pretty much worked first half, but we didn't have the cutting edge or guile in the top third.

"That was on show for most of the night.

"We had a couple of breakaway chances as the game wore on, but we just couldn't find the killer moment, which they did, of course.

"They had very few golden chances as well, but they took one, a very poor goal from our point of view."

Is Dyche concerned about a recent lack of goals, with only three scored in six games? "We have been scoring freely, it's only the last couple of weeks. We were right up at the top of the scoring charts, so overall, the bigger picture is we won nine out of 12 and drew two, until recently.

"So we know how to win games, it's deserted us at the moment, but some of that has been big decisions going against us, which have cost us.

"We still have to take care of business when we can.

"The overriding thing over the season is you have got to know the market you are in, and by the time we play Hull, we'll have played five of the top seven away from home, they've all got to come back to Turf."

Burnley have found ways to accumulate points until recently, and Dyche noted: "There was plenty of fluency, just not in the top third. I felt we kept the ball well round the back, we wanted to control the game with the ball as much as we could, we did that at times, because we know they like to play and keep the ball, especially at home, not as freely away.

"Then you've got to put that into a purpose, which we sort of nearly did, without ever really opening up a real golden moment.

"Andre looked a bit isolated, people forget he's still learning the game, it was a quiet one for him, we didn't get out of him quite what we thought, or hoped.

"Other than that, margins are tight, we could have come away with a clean sheet and a 0-0, I didn't think we were going to score apart from at the end when we had a couple of breakaways, but they scored an important goal and credit to them, because they've made a habit of doing that this season in the tight games."

A change in system is rare for Dyche, bringing Dean Marney in for Sam Vokes for his first start since February, and he explained: "Its something we've been planning and thought about for a while, to open up the options within the team.

"It's important we didn't have a look at it in a flippant way, but to try and affect the game, and they like to keep the ball here, it's a big pitch, and we had to find a way of affecting that, which we did for a lot of the game.

"Weirdly we found an edge to our game at 1-0 down, we made a soft start to the second half, but found an edge after that, we pressed, we looked hungrier to get something from the game, and they went deeper, and we looked moor of a threat.

"We couldn't get that moment of truth though.

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* Middlesbrough 1, Burnley 0