Fire back in Burnley’s bellies, admits Phil Bardsley after win over Newcastle

Phil Bardsley with Andy Carroll
Phil Bardsley with Andy Carroll

The fire was back in Burnley’s bellies against Newcastle, according to right back Phil Bardsley.

The experienced campaigner came back into the side at the expense of Matt Lowton after the 5-0 reverse at Spurs - a third-successive defeat.

And Bardsley helped play his part in a sixth win and sixth clean sheet of the season, with Chris Wood’s header just before the hour proving enough.

Sean Dyche felt the Clarets were “subservient” at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but Bardsley said: “We played with a bit more fire in our bellies.

“There was a bit more belief.

“You lose a few games and a bit of confidence goes out of the boys, and you could see that. But not today.

“Every player out there was fantastic. They are a tough, physical team and they’ve got some skilful players as well, but we fancy our chances against anybody at home, and we showed that today.”

Bardsley knew he was in a game early on as he was clattered by Andy Carroll, who was fortunate to only be booked for a second half elbow on Ben Mee.

But the former Stoke City man wasn’t complaining about a physical encounter: “It’s great though, isn’t it?

“That’s what we’re in it for. It’s still a contact sport, as we all know.

“People love a good old-school challenge, and there were certainly a few of them today.

“You didn’t see many people rolling around, not with these two teams,

“We all got up and dusted ourselves down, and got on with it.

“Big Andy did me in the first few minutes – I’ve still got whiplash from that one. But it’s what we do.

“We get bumps and bruises but get back up and win football matches.

“I didn’t need that first whack to know what it was going to be like.

“I’ve played against big Andy for years, and I knew from waking up Monday morning it was going to be like that. So tough, physical game. Enjoyable, clean sheet, great win – what a weekend!”

Newcastle went into the game on the back of successive wins, which made the three points even more important: “I think they changed formation three or four times, so you have to concentrate on what’s coming at you. It was chopping and changing, with them bringing substitutes on, so it wasn’t always the same man running at you. In the end they went 4-4-2, and I think that suited us. If someone wants a tear up we’re game on all day for that sort of stuff.

“We had a couple of good chances on the counter as well, but just couldn’t convert them, but we’ve still come over the line for a really good win.”

Burnley won with a seventh set piece goal of the season, and Bardsley pointed to the corner taker, Ashley Westwood: “Unbelievable delivery from Westy. They were on the money every time.

“We work on them a lot. And fair do’s to Woodsy, he’s been struggling with illness all week, and he can’t have felt great in them conditions, wind and rain and sleet. When you’re a bit under the weather you might think: ‘It’s not for me this, today’. But he hung in there, got himself a goal, and fully deserved it.”

On his 50th appearance for the club, the first coming under Steve Cotterill on loan from Manchester United in 2006, a clean sheet was welcome, with Burnley not conceding a shot on target for the first time in 207 Premier League games: “We must be doing our job then! We’ve conceded a lot of goals recently and we wanted to put that right today. That’s us doing our job.

“(Popey didn’t have much to do) No, but it’s swings and roundabouts in this game. He’s contributed massively to our other clean sheets, but it’s nice to get one without him having to help us out too much.”