Honesty not necessarily best policy for the Clarets in the top flight says Dyche

Sean Dyche feels his side are the most honest in the Premier League, and are being made to pay for it.
Sean DycheSean Dyche
Sean Dyche

After Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at a streetwise Stoke City, Dyche spoke of his disappointment in referee Mark Clattenburg’s performance, and his failure to dismiss Marc Muniesa for a professional foul on Andre Gray.

He also felt Burnley might have had an early penalty for a Muniesa handball, and he feels, in general, his players are too honest, at a level where players know every trick in the book, how to kill time, and win fouls.

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Dyche has spoken previously on the subject, including last time out at this level, but he said: “We’ve got to learn more about the Premier League, the gamesmanship was on show today - they do it way better than we do.

“We’re still a bit green, too honest at times for this division, more so than any other side.

“It’s part of our growth, understanding how to manage the game though gamesmanship.

“They did that well at times.”

After Charlie Adam went down, seemingly injured, in the first half, Burnley halted an attack to kick the ball into touch, with the hosts not returning the ball, playing it out further down the touchline.

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Within a minute Stoke made it 2-0, although Dyche wouldn’t be drawn on the incident: “That’s for them to answer to, but that was a strange one.”

Dyche made four changes for the game against the Potters at the Bet365 Stadium, with injury to Johann Berg Gudmundsson forcing his hand as Scott Arfield stepped in to the side.

Full back Jon Flanagan was also brought in to the XI at the expense of Matt Lowton while Ashley Barnes and Andre Gray replaced Steven Defour and Sam Vokes as the Clarets switched to a 4-4-2 formation.

And the Burnley boss felt the performance of his players justified the transformation. “One of the many definitions of madness is keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome,” he said.

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“Therefore we have to look at the group and how we can change it. We have more flexibility than two years ago, and that was the case today, could we affect the game a different way?

“Other than the goals, I think we did, enough to put them on the back foot for large parts of the second half and first 10/15 minutes.

“We’re still searching for that quality in the final third, and that is partly development and sometimes spending multi millions of pounds, which isn’t always easy for us.”

Questioned on Belgium international Defour’s omission, Dyche added: “It’s never to do with any individual. It’s just to do with the team.

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“I work on a team basis for the club, so we have to find a different way of playing in certain situations and we thought it was appropriate for today. Next week it may be radically different.”

Burnley currently boast the worst away form in the division and Dyche accepts that their recent record on the road is a cause for concern.

“Of course I am bothered,” he said. “The point is we have to lay down a marker about us and that was a more Burnley-like performance. We haven’t done that as much away.

“We have looked a bit confused about how we want to play. But there was good clarity here in the performance about how we want to go about it and the will and demand, mixed with good quality.

“It’s the indefinable. Every manager will talk endlessly about the psychology of home and away and how it’s different. No one has figured it out – maybe that’s the next breakthrough.”