SEAN Dyche hailed what he felt was the most complete performance of his reign to date.
Burnley dominated Millwall at The Den, earning a 2-0 win which arguably flattered the hosts, lifting the Clarets up to seventh in the table, and right into play-off contention.
It was a fourth win in five league games - the first time Burnley have won three league outings on the spin this season - and Dyche said: “It was a very good performance and a very good win, for many different reasons, finding that balance between good play, good framework, good football and design of the team tactically, and great energy and effort to glue it all together.
“First half we were comfortable, the second half they made it tough, and had two efforts flash across the goal in the first five minutes when we didn’t start well - it was the only period I wasn’t happy with.
“That could have changed the outlook, but I thought first half we played very, very well, controlled the feel and tempo of the game.
“Second half you expect a reaction, certainly down at Millwall, so it was a tougher affair, but we were resilient and played some good stuff and could have nicked another one.”
Burnley earned a seventh clean sheet in 15 games under Dyche, their ninth of the season, with the Clarets winning all nine games where they have completed a shut-out, and he is delighted with the balance between keeping things tight, and posing an attacking threat: “Clean sheets give you a chance, and I’ve enjoyed the way the team have reacted to what we feel is appropriate to move things forward, and still allow a balance and that flexibility for us to produce chances, and that was on show again.
“That’s that healthy balance all managers are looking for. I call it framework and freedom, the framework is tight, hard to beat and break down, and then the freedom to go and play.
“For a large part of the game that was quite evident.”
Dyche, a former Millwall player, has now won 10 and drawn one of his 11 of his visits to The Den, and he smiled: “It’s amazing! I can’t define that one, I have so much respect for Millwall, I had a fantastic time here, but I keep coming here and getting a result.
“Long may it continue!”
Last time there, with Watford, it was considered that the Hornets ‘out-Millwalled Millwall’, but this win was as much about Burnley’s invention, and he said: “I’ve walked into a different group, and my belief in management is being flexible in yourself to look at the group you’ve got and play accordingly to win football matches.
“I felt at Watford we needed to design the group to win matches in a different way, but there is a different style of player here and I came with that in mind, and decided what we thought we could effect - it was quite obvious it needed tightening up, and we’ve done that.
“But you still need to allow that freedom to play, and I’m pleased with the balance we’re beginning to find more consistently now.”