'We looked more like ourselves', says Burnley boss Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche was pleased to see his side look more like themselves as Burnley picked up their first point of the campaign against West Brom at The Hawthorns.
The Clarets had shipped seven goals in two games on the road previously, but looked far more organised as they limited the Baggies to very few chances on their way to a first clean sheet of the term.
Nick Pope and James Tarkowski made important blocks when the hosts threatened after the break, and the England international goalkeeper denied Matheus Pereira late on, but the Clarets were largely untested otherwise.
Dyche said: “The start point for us was to get back to a performance more like ourselves, in both boxes, defending one well and looking a threat in the other, and I thought we did, so that was pleasing.
“We kept them quite quiet, Popey had some saves where he smothered it far side, so I was pleased with the defensive side of things.
"Tarky looked sharper again, and he will continue to get sharper and fitter, Erik Pieters filling in and doing a good job as he tends to do, all these signs.
"The midfield two working very hard, Woody and Barnesy looking a handful, Dwight looking good, so, we’re beginning to look like where we want to be, partly because we’re getting bodies back fit again."
The visitors crafted the better openings on the whole as Sam Johnstone did well to turn Ashley Barnes's effort wide in the first half before beating away the striker's second half header.
New Zealand international Chris Wood also went close when breaching West Brom's defence to guide Ashley Westwood's delivery on to the crossbar.
“I thought we made enough chances, and particularly the quality of chances, to score a goal, and if we had, we probably would have seen the game through," said Dyche.
“I only question my centre forwards if they’re not creating and getting on the end of chances, I don’t when they miss chances, as long as they are in there.
“On another day, either of hem score, the keeper has made some good saves to be fair, but equally they were good enough chances where normally I would expect one of them to go in at least."
The Burnley boss feels that a first point on the board will now give the Clarets a base to build on.
They've got Spurs and Chelsea coming up next, but Dyche feels his players will go into those games in much better shape physically and psychologically.
“We’ve had three out of four away games, although it is an awkward time in stadiums of course, the feel of it, but statistically it is difficult to win away games in the Premier League," he said.
"It [a point] is so pleasing in some ways, a point on the board, which is just as important psychologically.
“We’re coming through an awkward period with injuries, off the field situations that have needed managing, and pleased we looked more like what we’re about.
“The injuries have to be factored in, but, within all that, we get on with the challenge, as we have done over many years here.
“This week has been a really good training week and a good show of that with a more solid performance, with some good moments in it.
“We have to be careful what we wish for, and sort of over demand, because it’s an unforgiving league, so there’s got to be a bit of reality, but I think we can build on that performance and move forward from this and get wins and points."