Vincent Kompany's thoughts after Burnley's 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town
Vincent Kompany felt there were “good foundations” after his side, with eight debutants in all, kicked-off the EFL season with a 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town.
Loan signing Ian Maatsen scored the only goal of a game Burnley dominated, especially in the first half, where their energy and fluency on the ball created a string of chances.
The Clarets enjoyed 73% possession in the first half, and over 300 passes, in a display that enthused a sold-out away end and those watching on Sky Sports.
And with more to come, in terms of the players’ understanding of the new manager and his way of playing, and bodies, with a month of the transfer window remaining, there was plenty to be excited about.
Kompany said before the game: “Either it gives us a really good look at the team and where we are at and what we still need to improve, or it can say ‘do you know what, some of the lads are further on than we thought they were.’”
It appeared to be the latter, although he will reserve judgement: “Probably at the end of the next two games. I see it as a testing period.
“I wouldn’t be a manager if I was thrilled with everything. A lot is going to be made, I heard a lot about the style of play.
"For me at the forefront, it is Burnley and Burnley is hard work.
"I saw that and players who were brave. There were some good foundations there.
"We never really got momentum against us and in these moments it is crucial.
"I don’t think we got many shots on target against us.
"We did well to get out and block crosses.
"When we had the ball we still did enough to not concede momentum too easily.
"It is not enough to do what we did in the first half, we need to do what we did in the second.”
The one concern was a failure to kill the game, given the chances created, and he added: “I said before the game, if you count the goals in our team, I don’t think you name one player as an out and out goalscorer, but every player can nick a goal.
"Barnesy kept on going for 90 minutes and made it horrible for the defenders.
"I couldn’t have predicted the goal came from Ian.”
It was difficult to name the starting line-up given nine new signings over the summer, and a debut for 19-year-old youth product Dara Costelloe, in for the injured Jay Rodriguez, was a surprise: “That is one thing I have had to do in my first three years as a manager, I had to play with a lot of young players.
"I think you see the signs in training. He was fearless, he gave us something different and it is a good start and I trust him to stay on the path
“Jay picked up something towards the end of the week and we could have done without it.
"A 46-game season is almost like a relay, we are going to need different lads at different times.”