Burnley manager Sean Dyche believes in all three of his goalkeepers but hailed the performance of Tom Heaton in his side’s 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion.
Heaton made a number of excellent saves to keep Brighton at bay in the first half at a rain-soaked Amex Stadium, while Chris Wood’s 26th-minute strike gave Burnley the lead.
Wood scored again before Ashley Barnes put the result beyond doubt with a penalty 16 minutes from time, and Shane Duffy’s headed goal in the closing stages was the only blot on a fine outing for Heaton and the Burnley defence.
Dyche handed Heaton his seventh Premier League appearance of the season by naming him ahead of Joe Hart once more, while Nick Pope missed out again.
“There’s a lot being made of us having three keepers,” Dyche told BT Sport. “They’re all top keepers, I think, so that’s a great position to be in.
“It’s hard because I can only pick one who starts and one on the bench. They’re top class and I believe in all three of them.
“The main thing for me as manager is you’ve got to find different ways to win because we’re not an elite team; we’re not Man City, we’re not Liverpool – top, top teams. We have to find other ways to win.
“Today it was organisation, good habits, taking your chances when they come of course, and having key players playing well like your keeper. That’s sometimes the way it is in the Premier League.”
43: HOW’S THAT NOT GONE IN?!
Gross hooks a cross back towards goal at the back stick, Heaton gets a touch on it, somehow! It goes behind…
Listen live https://t.co/6B63RGuJAU
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) February 9, 2019
The result lifted Burnley out of the relegation zone and up to 15th, extending their unbeaten run to seven Premier League matches.
Dyche gave an optimistic assessment of his side’s chances of escaping the drop, saying: “We don’t consider ourselves with everyone else.
“We’ve been down there [in the relegation zone] a lot in the early part of the season.
“There has been a lot to compute and a lot to put back together but you can see there’s a group who give everything there and I think that’s a powerful weapon at this stage of the season.”
Brighton manager Chris Hughton said his side should have had a penalty when Jeff Hendrick handled the ball in the area shortly before Barnes won a spot-kick at the other end.
The Seagulls have yet to win a league match in 2019 and, like Burnley, are just three points clear of the bottom three.
“The penalty is a clear penalty that gets us back in the game and changes the momentum of the game,” said Hughton.
“But we conceded poor goals. We conceded goals that are not like us.
“We are a team that is always going to have ups and downs. This is our second season in this division and we are still learning. As quickly as you can have three wins on the spin, you can go through a difficult period.
“We have to put this one aside, learn from it and be better next game.”
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