Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dyche revels in ´brave´ Burnley holding Chelsea

SoccerNews in English Premier League 12 Feb 2017

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Sean Dyche felt sticking with Burnley’s “brave” approach was key as they held Premier League leaders Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor on Sunday.

Pedro gave the visitors the lead after just six minutes, but Robbie Brady struck a superb free-kick on his first Burnley start for the club to claim a draw for the Clarets, who are unbeaten in eight home games in all competitions.

Antonio Conte changed formation from Chelsea’s usual back three in the closing stages in a bid to force a victory for his side and Dyche felt his decision to stick with his usual 4-4-2 paid dividends.

“We wanted to be brave and we didn’t want to change our shape, we wanted to stick with what we do and make it uncomfortable,” Dyche told Sky Sports. “We couldn’t get it right in the first 20 minutes and we changed it and got better with more defensive strength as a unit and that continued for the rest of the game.

“I wasn’t looking to measure progress on this game but you can see their assuredness and it’s part of being a Premier League player. There’s an assured way about the way they conduct themselves. Technically we’re not the real deal yet, we’re still a work in progress, and I’m very pleased with them.”

Brady’s special set-piece lit up a snowy Turf Moor but Dyche believes there is a lot more to come from the club-record signing, who joined from Norwich City on deadline day

“I think there’s other parts of his game he has to get used to but the strong left foot is a big part of his game and it was a fine moment,” Dyche said.

“I thought [fellow full debutant, Ashley] Westwood had a good game as well. It was hard for them to come in today against the top side in the league and they applied themselves well.

“We limited them to two efforts on target and we made four or five good chances ourselves, two or three of them were golden chances. 

“Very pleased with our mentality, there’s growth in the side and they are maturing as individuals with more assuredness to handle days like these. I was super impressed with the reaction to their goal, there was no disappointment and we stayed on the front foot.”

A modest Brady accepted he was not at his best but the Republic of Ireland winger hailed a result that keeps Burnley well clear of the relegation zone as Dyche’s men reached 30 points.

“The lads were excellent today, it shows what we’re about,” Brady said. “Our home form has been unbelievable and we stuck it out, it was a great point in the end.

“I’m lucky enough it went in because I didn’t have the best of games and I’m lucky it went in. I’m glad it went in and it managed to get us a point in the end so that’s fantastic.”

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