Delight at end of long wait for Ipswich victory
Sean Dyche was delighted his players found a way to win a tight game at Ipswich and retain top spot in the Championship.
Burnley earned their first victory at Portman Road since a Frank Casper strike saw off Town in January 1970, and the win meant the Clarets have now made their best start to a season since 1897, when the club went on to win the old Second Division title.
Scott Arfield’s 80th-minute header settled the issue, and Dyche reacted to a seventh successive win: “I think it was a terrific win. We knew it would be a tough game with a lot talk of their home form here in this early part of the season, and also this bad scenario of never beating Ipswich (since 1970 away).
“I’m really pleased with that because I speak to the group about these things. I spoke to them about the manager of the month scenario and how the stats can sometimes change that, and I spoke to them about the mentality here.
“What happened 10, 20, 30 years ago has nothing to do with today, I said it’s about getting ready for when the whistle blows and delivering a performance.
“On the whole, not for all of the game, but on the whole we did just about enough to edge it I think. But it was a close one.”
With 10 minutes remaining, a draw looked the likely outcome, but Dyche wasn’t settling for that: “I never think ‘we’ll take a point’, we talk about winning all the time. But on the balance of play I thought a draw was probably the most likely outcome.
“On the other hand, we’ve all seen those games where there might be a slip, a mistake or a moment of quality, and I was pleased to say there was a fine cross and a very good run from Scotty.
“He has that habit of being in the right place at the right time and it was a lovely finish.
“That in the end took it.”
Dyche felt Ipswich shaded the first 45 minutes, but he got an improved performance after the break: “They had the better of the first half. But the margins were tight, I didn’t think they were radically better but they had the better share of it I felt.
“Then it settled in the second half and I thought we delivered a better performance in the second half.
“We had a few decent half chances - ones that we have been scoring from.”
Dyche has often referred to pal Malky Mackay’s success with Cardiff City last season, and the Bluebirds’ ability to win points when not at their best, and he said: “This is a really tough division. You have to find different ways of winning if you want to be successful on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, cups, whatever it may be. We are doing that.
“We are finding ways when we’re free flowing we’ve won, when it’s tight we’ve won. It’s a work in progress and it doesn’t stop, but we’re showing very good signs.
“There is no guarantee but what there is there is a nice feel to the group and there’s an energy and there is definitely some quality. In periods of the game it showed again.
“We’re just looking to going into each game with that winning mentality. So far it’s serving us well.
“I’ve mentioned it many times, you’ve got to be in it to win it, and we stayed in it in the first half when they had a couple of scrapes. They weren’t free flowing chances but a couple of things went in the box and there were a couple of ugly bits dropping around, but you stay in games to allow yourself a chance to win it, and we’ve done that again and delivered that moment of quality late on.”
Prolific pair Danny Ings and Sam Vokes were successfully shackled by Ipswich, but Arfield popped-up with a winner.
And Dyche added: “We all know it’s a team game, we speak about it often, and as a group, the lads up front know there’s a collective spirit and attitude, they know the framework, the belief in the group, the will to do the ugly bits and they know they can play.
“If they have a day when they are quiet, and they were, so fair play to Ipswich but I think you saw again, no lack of effort or stimulus, going out to enjoy and deliver a performance.
“It’s important the players respond to that, as they did with a fine goal from Scotty.
Winning tight games says a lot about a team, but Dyche is happy to win in any way, shape or form: “They all taste sweet, we all know when you’re really on it, and you win 2,3-0, those performances take care of themselves.”