Dan Black's match verdict as Burnley move within striking distance of Championship leaders Sheffield United and Norwich City

It was — given the context of the last week — the perfect storyline for Burnley at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

A total of 10 points dropped in the Championship this season, with 40 percent of those surrendered in their last two outings, the psychological uplift of protecting a lead will be seismic.

The Clarets were comfortable and largely untroubled from start to finish, once again, but there was that nagging doubt creeping into the consciousness, with headers from Callum Robinson and Harry Clarke still weighing heavily on the mind.

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Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who deputised for the injured Arijanet Muric, left the pitch with his gloves unblemished as Mark Robins' Sky Blues failed to direct an effort on target.

Burnley players celebrate scoring their first goal with goal scorer Nathan Tella (2nd left) Photographer Andrew Kearns/CameraSport The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Coventry City v Burnley- Saturday 8th October 2022 - Coventry Building Society Arena - Coventry World Copyright © 2022 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com

However, thousands of travelling supporters collectively held their breath, along with those stationed in the visiting dug-out, when Swedish striker Viktor Gyokeres, who netted 17 times last term, managed to orchestrate space inside the penalty area.

Fortunately, having squeezed in-between captain Jack Cork and Vitinho in time added on, his attempted pass into substitute Fabio Tavares was cut out by Josh Brownhill.

"For me as a coach it was ideal, as a coach you want to make your players feel like you have all the solutions," said Vincent Kompany. "It is not always the case but we worked on how to fix it and the fact that it happened two days later helps me a bit in being more credible towards the team!

"We have to go through it and hopefully we can save that. It is a new group and those last minute goals you concede we are going through for the first time as a group.

Burnley's Taylor Harwood-Bellis breaks Photographer Andrew Kearns/CameraSport The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Coventry City v Burnley- Saturday 8th October 2022 - Coventry Building Society Arena - Coventry World Copyright © 2022 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com

"There was a time when the storyline was set-pieces, then it was late goals. You can't get too emotional about it, you have to deal with it and fix it and that is what we've done."

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The unforgiving and unrelenting nature of the division — which will see the Clarets play nine times (including the EFL Cup tie against Crawley Town) before the cut off for the World Cup — makes it a little easier for Kompany and his squad to leave their skeletons in the closet and recover from the pain of the past.

The Premier League Hall of Famer had just a few days to address the vulnerabilities and fragilities that had eaten into their points return in games against Cardiff City and Stoke City.

And focussing on those defensive frailties, which is Kompany's area of expertise, clearly did the trick as the Clarets claimed a third clean sheet of the campaign, their first since a 2-0 win at home to Millwall at the end of August.

Burnley's Nathan Tella celebrates scoring his side's first goal Photographer Andrew Kearns/CameraSport The EFL Sky Bet Championship - Coventry City v Burnley- Saturday 8th October 2022 - Coventry Building Society Arena - Coventry World Copyright © 2022 CameraSport. All rights reserved. 43 Linden Ave. Countesthorpe. Leicester. England. LE8 5PG - Tel: +44 (0) 116 277 4147 - [email protected] - www.camerasport.com
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City had gone close to drawing level on the stroke of half-time, when Jonathan Panzo guided Kasey Palmer's expertly delivered corner on to the crossbar, but that was as good as it got for the side at the bottom of the table.

The reaction from Manchester City starlet Taylor Harwood-Bellis was as passionate as you'll see as he punched the air repetitively in celebration with the fans housed in the South Stand.

His response was reminiscent to Jason Shackell's primal scream at Ewood Park in 2014. "A centre half should do that [punch the air in celebration] when you get a clean sheet," Kompany said. "When you win a few big headers at the end of the game it can be just as satisfying as scoring a goal.

"I don't think we've been shipping goals defensively. We had one game, against Blackpool, where we had a strange 45 minutes. Something happened that day and I still, to this day, can't understand it.

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"Other than that the team has been solid defensively, there has been no worry. Sometimes when you don't finish teams off, last minute goals can happen, but we handled it well today."

Burnley, themselves, didn't put Ben Wilson under too much pressure, but one moment of quality in the game was enough to separate the two sides.

Nathan Tella anticipated the pass over the top from Josh Cullen, stealing a march on Panzo in the process, and his delicate control and instinctive finish caught both Kyle McFadzean and Wilson by surprise.

As Kompany rightly said, with the angle working against the Southampton star, "There aren't many strikers who would have scored that goal." The ex-Arsenal forward has now joined Jay Rodriguez as the club's leading scorer this term with five.

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Taking the lead — which Burnley have done in their last 10 games in all competitions — is a healthy habit to have. Holding on to it is even better. Now they must develop a trend for putting their opponents to the sword, as they did against Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium.

Rodriguez should have restored his position at the top of the scoring charts when slamming the ball into the side-netting, with debutant Anass Zaroury square and unmarked to his left hand side.

And Johann Berg Gudmundsson should have done better when Tella closed down Wilson's clearance, but the Icelandic substitute opted for precision over power and the 30-year-old keeper scrambled back to his line to save.

Kompany concluded: "I spoke a lot about the habit of leading, it's a good habit, rather than getting into a habit of chasing, so we've got to do it more and more and then you get better at it. This is a good reference point for us."

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Whichever way you look at it, though, 10 games unbeaten in the Championship, with a completely refurbished side working under new management, isn't something to turn your nose up at.

If this run continues beyond Swansea City and Birmingham City, they're halfway to eclipsing the run that landed the title under Sean Dyche in 2016.