“If we tidy up the details, we‘ll make sure we get more points on the board” - Burnley boss Sean Dyche after defeat to Manchester United
The Clarets fell to a third-successive defeat, losing for the first time in five visits to the Theatre of Dreams, but are six points clear of Fulham, who occupy 18th place in the Premier League, with a game in hand.
Burnley were unfortunate to lose to Manchester United certainly by the final 3-1 margin, having given as good as they got for long periods of the game, only to fall behind to a twice-deflected late Mason Greenwood goal, his second of the game, before Edison Cavani’s injury time clincher on the break.
And Dyche pleased with a lot of what he saw: “The shape, energy and honesty was really good, and some of the quality. It’s just finding those key moments because we got in some brilliant positions today, which is not easy when we come to these grounds.
“You don’t want to cry luck in, but it is a bad bit of luck, I thought we were seeing the game through well, and we were looking effective on the break.
“But two deflections and it’s in the back of your net. We then have to chase the game, and they get a third on the break.
“It’s a frustrating one, but the key for me over a season is performance levels, I speak about it all the time, you take a lucky one, but generally you want your team to be performing, and with the performances of the last three games, if we tidy up the details, we‘ll make sure we get more points on the board.”
Asked whether United wee flattered by the scoreline, he added: “I wouldn’t like to disrespect them because they are a top side, but I think on the day it was a closer affair than the scoreline suggests for sure.
“We defended very well, which you have to do at these places, but some good moments without really opening us up too many times, apart from some clever play, which you expect.
“But we were effective and asked questions of them when we put the ball in their box.
“We worked well on the break and I thought Chris Wood was excellent, the energy of our side on transition was good to come out of our shape and try and be effective in attack.
“Overall I was pleased. I’ve got to be honest, I thought we were seeing the game out well and might have had the chance to nick it, they are overloading to try and force a goal, and then they get one out of the blue, it is a double deflection, one off Charlie Taylor and one off Corky and it goes in the opposite corner.
“Over a season you need your scratches of luck. I will have a look at it another time.
“We were delivering a very strong performance at that time, defending very well and then it goes against you. You have to open up to get back in it, and they get a third on the breakaway.
“The mentality and performance was very good.”
Wood played as a lone forward and was a real handful for the United defence.
He twice has goals ruled out, and went close on another couple of occasions, and Dyche admitted: “I thought he was excellent, I thought Browny (Josh Brownhill) did great, we just felt they overload the midfield here, Pogba isn’t a left winger, but comes off the left, they get the full backs really high and wide, so unusually for me, because I like to play with two strikers, but I just felt it was right.
“We have changed it before, as you know, with Jeff (Hendrick) and I thought it worked well, I was pleased with a lot of the performance.
“Woody and Browny got the pressing shape really well, and that affected the whole team’s defensive performance, which was really good.
“His hold up play was good, he was aggressive to win headers and keep the ball from coming back, and Browny was very good, he ran all over the place to affect the game.
“The key to our season and growth is the key moments, at the end, Vyds is driving at goal, and takes an extra touch...those moments are so important, for the team to continue to develop and learn is to find those key moments, because some of the basic principles were excellent.”
Luck wasn’t on Burnley’s side with United’s key second goal, and he mused: “It’s a strange moment in the game to concede that kind of goal, we made a few mistakes the last couple of games, which isn’t like us, more the transition of the transition, but today is just bad luck, Chas goes to block it, Corky goes to block it, and it goes in the opposite side.
“When they go against you, it’s tough to swallow, but after they scored the first, the mentality was excellent, to take the game on still, and even after the second we had moments and still drove on. I was really pleased.”