Sean Dyche felt Burnley lacked quality and clarity after losing 2-1 at home to 10-man Leicester City to remain in a Premier League relegation battle.
Harry Maguire was sent off in the fourth minute after bringing down winger Johann Gudmundsson but Burnley still slipped to a fourth consecutive defeat.
Wes Morgan’s 90th-minute header earned Leicester victory at a windy Turf Moor on Saturday, although referee Michael Oliver had rejected what seemed strong penalty appeals for Burnley with the scores level at 1-1.
Dyche, however, was unwilling to make excuses after another poor display left Burnley just two points above the bottom three, with 18th-placed Cardiff City – who visit Turf Moor next month – having a game in hand.
“I’m obviously very disappointed and it was a strange game in many ways,” Dyche said. “When a team goes down to 10 men so early it can feel strange unless you get a grip of the game straight away, and we didn’t.
“In the second half we corrected things and had a lot of the play, but those quality moments that you need to win a game weren’t close enough. You have to have that moment of truth and clarity. I will say it’s not easy to break down a team that set up 4-4-1.
“You have to find those moments and often we question the defensive side of our game, but our key players who are attack-minded have to find those moments. There is as big a responsibility there as there is defensively.
“In the second half there was more of an 11 v 10 feel, in terms of possession and getting into the right areas, but we couldn’t find the real moments of quality, and that’s probably the question we’ve had all season, finding them in the attacking third.
“There was a big moment with the penalty at 1-1. I don’t want to make it about that though. They are making defensive changes and working on the idea of counter-attacking and we didn’t give them a lot.
“But you are always fearful towards the end of a game and, in the end, it was unfortunate for us. We are a bit unlucky that the cross balloons up off Charlie Taylor and loops up onto their lad’s [Morgan’s] head, but I am a great believer in working hard and forcing your own luck.”
— James Maddison (@Madders10) March 16, 2019
James Maddison’s second free-kick goal in the Premier League this season had given Leicester the lead, only for Dwight McNeil to quickly reply, with Brendan Rodgers confirming the England international was a pre-match doubt.
“He has wonderful talent,” said Rodgers after recording his first away win since taking charge of the Foxes as the replacement for Claude Puel.
“Yesterday he had four free-kicks like that in succession, where he has bent it into the top corner. He is a wonderful technician and will get better and better.
“I give credit to him because he was fortunate to play. He was up all night sick right through the night. He wasn’t feeling great this morning, hence the reason we took him off. He gave us everything for 60-odd minutes and scored a very important goal.”
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