Burnley manager Sean Dyche praised his players after seeing his decision to pack the midfield pay dividends in the 2-0 Premier League win over Watford.
Faced with Walter Mazzarri’s customary 3-5-2 formation, Dyche – typically a staunch advocate of 4-4-2 at home – set up with a five-man midfield and a lone striker for the second game in succession.
The results were considerably more impressive than in the 3-0 loss at Leicester City as Jeff Hendrick and Michael Keane headed their first Premier League goals to secure Burnley a first win in four top-flight attempts.
“We have never lacked grit and determination and had the base of a performance. The lads were terrific,” said Dyche, as quoted by BBC Sport, after the win at Turf Moor.
“I like to play 4-4-2 and attack teams but this was the right side to get a performance. Whatever shape we play we need energy and pressing.
“If you keep clean sheets you’ll have a chance in games and there were moments of quality.
“Last time around in the Premier League we didn’t concede many so we believe there’s good organisation in the team and we need to be productive at the top end of the pitch.”
Hendrick became Burnley’s record signing when he joined from Derby County last month and fellow new recruit Steven Defour impressed once more, the Belgium international setting up both goals.
“We’ve made a really solid start,” Dyche added. “We have added to the squad, we would have liked more but it’s a tough market.”
Watford came into the match on the back of superb wins over West Ham and Manchester United but head coach Walter Mazzarri conceded they lacked similar levels of desire this time around.
“We were not playing good, we made changes which improved us but then we conceded a second goal which made it difficult for us,” he said, as quoted by BBC Sport.
“It was not good enough. I was hoping the players would come to the pitch with the same hunger and determination but they didn’t. We will reflect.
“In English football it is difficult. Burnley were very aggressive, they also beat Liverpool.”
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