Sean Dyche delighted to see hard work pay off with set pieces

Burnley’s set pieces have played a big part in winning the last two games.
James Tarkowski fires home from Ashley Westwoods free kick at WatfordJames Tarkowski fires home from Ashley Westwoods free kick at Watford
James Tarkowski fires home from Ashley Westwoods free kick at Watford

And six of their 20 goals this season have come from dead balls.

Only Bournemouth, with eight, can top that in the Premier League so far this season.

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Against Watford, Chris Wood scored after James Tarkowski headed on a Dwight McNeil corner, with an Ashley Barnes penalty followed by Tarkowski slamming in at the second attempt from a free kick from Ashley Westwood.

The previous week, a McNeil corner led to the opener for Barnes against West Ham, with Hammers keeper Roberto flapping in Westwood’s corner for the third.

The attention to detail has to be admired, blocking off goalkeepers, timing of runs, and the quality of the deliveries themselves.

Asked if they had put more emphasis on set plays this season, Sean Dyche said: “Not any more emphasis. People say the ball’s not in the air. Well I’ll tell you the stats on crosses. So someone’s putting it in the air? Off the top of my head 27-30% of goals are scored from set pieces, so we think, ‘Why would you not use that as an option, a chance to score?’

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“Over the years we’ve always thought that. You use everything you can, and never more so if you’re a team and club like Burnley in the Premier League. You need everything you get.”

Burnley hone their art in training and try and make life as difficult for every side they face, regardless of any perceived weaknesses in the opposition: “We focus on what we do. The staff have done brilliant with that [set pieces] and the players have taken it on.

“Against Watford, every time we went into the box from a set piece it looked like we were going to score - you could almost smell it in the stadium.

“I think everyone was thinking it. So we’ve done well with that.

“We’ve got mixed styles of delivery from varying takers, and people who believe they are going to score a goal, and that’s a big aspect of it.”