Sean Dyche on the defeat at Leeds: "They had the edge against us with that desire"

Sean Dyche accepted his team "kind of hurt ourselves" after a desperately disappointing 3-1 defeat at Leeds United.

By Chris Boden
Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 4:56 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 4:56 pm
Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche

The Clarets' ball retention was poor in the first half, with a James Tarkowski slip leading to Jack Harrison's opener before the break, and despite a magnificent free kick equaliser from the AFCON-bound Maxwel Cornet, two late goals gave Leeds a deserved 3-1 win.

It leaves Burnley two points adrift of Watford with a game in hand, with Leeds now eight points clear of the bottom three, and Dyche said, when asked if the defeat was self-inflicted: "Somewhat - we started nice and brightly, but we let the game get away from us first half by playing backwards and sidewards instead of forwards.

"We were intact at half-time, and we know they concede a lot of goals second half, and did again.

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"We were nice and bright in the first 15-20 minutes of the second half, and then again the game eased away from us.

2That element of going on the back foot rather than the front foot has cost us this season.

"Leeds play a physical game with an edge and their first goal comes from it."

Were Burnley lacking that edge?: "This season we have tried to offer some changes in the way we play, using the ball better, but you can’t take away the hunger and desire.

"They had the edge against us with that desire. We opened them up, found some really good chances and didn’t take them.

"We kind of hurt ourselves today.

"That weird feeling that creeps in, that everyone is looking at everyone else to do something, and I spoke to the players that it counts what I do.

"At the minute, we are waiting for someone to do their job and then they are not active."

As regards the league table, Dyche isn't one to stare at it, but knows what is required to get out of trouble: "The details are important, but we are the only ones that can change that.

!We can’t wait for things to happen.

"We have never made excuses about the situation, it is about us taking responsibility as a collective, led my myself."

The renowned strong jaw during Dyche's reign is not intact, however, and he added: "I wouldn’t say we are shooting ourselves in the foot, but we are making little moments that are big moments.

"Today the edge over the full game, I just felt Leeds had that little edge, the freedom to play, the running, the pressing.

"I don’t think it was free-flowing wonderful play but there was a lot of energy, all the stuff we know we can do.

"But I have never lost in these players and I won’t do. The pride I have them is enormous."

Does the defeat make business in the January transfer window a necessity?: "It still doesn’t change the rules. There has to be the finance, a team that wants to sell a player. The market is the market. The only way you can change the rules is if you put a lot of money in, even the superpower teams sometimes can’t sign a player in January."

Cornet now links up with Ivory Coast in Cameroon, having scored six goals in 10 Premier League appearances - the most an African player has scored in his first 10 games at this level, on par with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal.

He could only get 45 minutes in after almost a month out, and Dyche said: "You can’t just look at Maxwel, before we had Maxwel we had players who kept us in the Premier League.

"We have to make sure we perform without him when he goes away

"He has had two or three days training. You are asking for another possible problem, we have to have common sense, we can’t keep losing players like Maxwel.

"But we have had many seasons in the Premier League without Maxwel, we have players who can perform, who can score goals create goals."

Dyche confirmed Nick Pope and Josh Brownhill remained out due to Covid protocols, whule Matt Lowton is fine after treatment after being hit by a bottle thrown by a home supporter after the equaliser.

Dyche said on that incident: "It's very disappointing but I don’t want to keep advertising these things because I thought the crowd were magnificent. There was one who let themselves down."