Sean Dyche's thoughts on a goal-less draw at Arsenal

Sean Dyche was delighted with the way his side went back to basics to grind out a goal-less draw at Arsenal.

By Chris Boden
Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 5:06 pm
Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche

The Clarets remain bottom of the Premier League, with games in hand, but a point at the Emirates Stadium was something of a bonus, especially in the manner Burnley frustrated their hosts and restricted their opportunities.

Burnley were without a game in two weeks due to Covid cases and injuries, and a patched up side performed heroically, with Erik Pieters competing well against Bukayo Saka in the absence of Charlie Taylor, while Connor Roberts made his full Premier League bow for the club.

And Dyche feels the result is a good building block: "We spoke to the players in the week about getting back to doing the basics really well, the tactical understanding, the way that we work, the two strikers, and I thought they showed that and put on a good performance in that vain.

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"We still know we can add quality, but it's not easy at places like this when you're not going to have the ball, and you have to work hard when they have it, and we did.

"The mentality was the biggest thing for me, it's an awkward moment, we've had some real challenges, players missing, players with a couple of days' training, players coming back from injury, and there were two or three out there who probably wouldn't be in usual circumstances."

Asked whether that wasmore like a Dyche side defensively, he added: "We've not been far away, and you can go through a number of games where we're a goal shy of having more points, and you don't get them, and have a couple of iffy performances - we were off it a little bit at Leeds.

"Then we've had a break with Covid, and we really spoke about doing the basics well, and building on that.

"We did that, the physical side of the game, which was difficult for a few with not many days' training, and the tactical side, which we did well.

"Erik looked like he was struggling a little bit early on, with the physical pressure of the game, but he came through and did very well, and Jay Rod has had a touch of tonsilitis and only had a day's training really.

"Vyds is still suffering with his hernia and might have to have that done, we'll get that looked at again.

"We'll get some reaction from him, he worked very hard,and they are funny things, they can rupture, or they can settle, so there might be a decision in the next few days on that, and we'll see if that happens and what happens with Maxwel in the AFCON.

"It's been a testing time.

"A number of people are being patched up to get out there.

"We've only really had a group we can work with the last two days of training.

"Lots of teams are going through similar, but we're probably slightly more at stretch because we don't carry the same numbers."

Many sides are going away during the winter break, biut Dyche will find the balance between rest and hard work at Gawthorpe: "We'll find that balance, some need a bit of a break, some need training, but we need to stay well, use the balance of fitness and rest and hopefully get a few of the lads back fit and sharp."

And as to whether there might be new faces before the transfer window closes, he smiled: "We'll see, if we can align the right players, then we will."

On Roberts, who has had to be patient with a groin injury and illness, he felt it was the right time to give him a start: "We've got to look at what we're doing as a staff, what can activate a change, maybe give you something different, and Connor was just one of them, we have to start using him and looking at him, we want that demand from the group, Bardo is right in the hat as well, but he'd only trained for a day this week because he'd had an injection in his lower back, that worked.

"Connor has done well, he's only had 60 minutes of an Under 23 game in weeks, but he is a very fit lad."