Dyche lauds Heaton after Old Trafford draw

Clarets boss Sean Dyche hailed skipper Tom Heaton after his remarkable performance at his former club helped win a first away point of the season at Manchester United.

Saturday, 29th October 2016, 6:22 pm
Updated Monday, 31st October 2016, 9:55 am
Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche

Heaton made 11 saves in total, with Peter Schmeichel claiming his late stop from a Zlatan Ibrahimovic effort was one of the best in Premier League history.

The England keeper has been in stunning form so far this season, and Dyche said after the goalless draw: "I think Tom Heaton was superb, the shape of the team and the belief in the shape of the team was very good.

"We came here and attempted to be brave with two strikers, and it worked in patches, but we deliberately tried to make the game awkward for them, to get the ball forward even quicker than we do, because we wanted it to be different for them, and uncomfortable, and it worked in patches again.

Sean Dyche

"There was some good stuff, certainly shape-wise defensively.

"I still think we've got a long way to go with the ball, in particular, we actually looked worse with 10 men.

"It seemed to confuse us, which sometimes happens, but to come here on the back of the run we've had away and get a point is very pleasing."

On Heaton, he added: "He's in very good form, I keep reminding him we kept him quiet last year, and I think he's been saving it up. He's in top form.

Sean Dyche

"It's difficult, even when your defenders have played well, against this level of the market, against players as good as these, they probe and find ways. Personally I thought they were first class, Man United.

"I think there's a top-class group of players here and they crossed it, they probed, they tried to be clever in the box, and they're a top side in my opinion.

"They never stopped trying to get the game done, and I'm pleased we managed to deal with that for the most part, particularly through some good moments from Tom Heaton."

Ander Herrera was sent off in the second half for United after two bookings for challenges on Dean Marney, but Burnley couldn't take full advantage: "I think the psychology kicked in when they went down to 10, we went on the back foot instead of the front foot, they thought 'we've had a few tough games away and we're at Man U, let's get a point.'

"I certainly didn't instruct that, they just felt it on the pitch, and sometimes that can be awkward for players to deal with.

"However you get points on the road, more so in the Premier League, you've got to take what you can get.

"We know we have to play better than that away from home, but we got a point and it's a tough place to come to."

Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands at half-time after trying to quiz referee Mark Clattenburg over a penalty claim, when Mattel Darmian went down dramatically under a Jon Flanagan challenge.

And there were more claims in the second half, including a second for Darmian, but Dyche admitted: "I was a long way away but they didn't look like penalties.

"I thought the sending off was hard on the referee and the player. It looks like he may have slipped accidentally, as he made the challenge."

He wasn't actually aware Mourinho had left the dugout area: "I didn't know. Until the end of the game.

"I never really bothered myself. Sometimes the assistant comes out to the wide anyway, so I didn't know."

Ashley Barnes made his first appearance since a hamstring injury suffered in pre-season, coming on as a second half substitute for Andre Gray - back in the side after a four-game ban: "It was good to get Barnesy back. We wanted to get him involved again, and as he dies, he put himself about and tried to have a go for us, but the game was tough for centre forwards, because they were relentless in coming forwards, as Man United do.

"I still think there's a top class group of players here.

"It was a really big decision (to bring Andre back) because we've done well, but away from home we haven't done as well.

"I thought there is a little bit of freedom coming to these places, you're not really expected to get anything, so you think 'let's take the game on a little bit'.

"We tried to be brave, and it didn't map out perfectly. But we had a couple of moments and breaks, a couple of key moments which we didn't take advantage of, which you have to do.

"It works somewhat but there's a lot of things we need to change to get the challenge on over the season."

Stephen Ward came off with what is thought to be a hamstring problem, while Steven Defour - "touch and go" before the game, wasn't risked: "It was a risk, really, we considered it too much, we thought it better to give him four or five days of really good training to get his general fitness up, because we think he's still adapting to the fitness levels of the Premier League."