New system '˜not a gimmick' '“ Dyche
Sean Dyche started with three centre backs for the first time in over six years in charge at Spurs on Saturday.
And he admits it won’t be a one-off moving forward, as Burnley look to shore up a defence which has leaked 33 goals in 17 games.
The Clarets held out Spurs until injury time at Wembley, finally beaten by Christian Eriksen’s strike, as they looked to build on only a second clean sheet in 10 games last time out at home to Brighton.
The new back three proved a success, as they restricted Spurs’ chances – the goal being only a third shot on target from Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Burnley are again in north London on Saturday at Arsenal, and Dyche could utilise the system again: “I think it’s something we would consider again – we didn’t just do it for a gimmick, we did it because we thought it could be effective.
“In many ways, it was.
“The hardship when you come to these places is then being effective on the attacking side – how many times can you get that real moment of truth to open them up?
“We had a few, but it is difficult.
“But we limited them by their standards.
“They are a top side and I think we’ve delivered a performance that has made it very tight, and they have had to work incredibly hard to get something from the game.”
While only Fulham (42) have conceded more than the Clarets, only Newcastle (14), Crystal Palace (14) and Huddersfield (10) have scored fewer than Burnley’s 15 goals, after Southampton hit three to beat Arsenal on Sunday.
And Dyche is looking for that killer instinct at the other end.
Dyche has alternated his strikers all season, looking for the right combination.
Sam Vokes is top scorer with four goals in all competitions, but hasn’t started the last four games, with Chris Wood, a pairing of Wood and Ashley Barnes, and then Barnes utilised.
Matej Vydra has only made three starts since an £11m summer move, scoring on his first start against Bournemouth.
Centre back James Tarkowski is level with Vokes with three in terms of Premier League goals, and Dyche knows his side have to make more of the opportunities they get.
Barnes had two sights of goal at Wembley, glancing a header over from Phil Bardsley’s cross, before having a volley blocked just after half-time, and Dyche said: “We got a great press on the ball from Bardo, when he finds Barnesy for a header, a really good set piece second half when Barnesy has a shot blocked, and the main thing for me, that we have to continually look at, on counter attacks today, there’s so many times when it’s one touch too many, too less...that quality of pass, that dynamic run – these are fine margins and we’ve got to keep continually looking at that.
“That’s something we are aware of, those final moments of quality, and they are the moments – especially when you are not having as many attacking moments – that you’ve got to really find them.
“You might only have a handful against these sides away from home, and it’s so important you find that pass, that breakaway moment.
“First and second half we had so many, Charlie Taylor at the death first half, Robbie Brady tries to play him in and they just get a block on it, Woody gets away at the end...they are so important.
“Overall, it is difficult, these are a top side, simple as that.”