Burnley working hard to tighten up in defence – Sean Dyche


Suzanne Geldard

Sports Reporter

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is keen to see an improvement in defence from his side

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is keen to see an improvement in defence from his side

Burnley boss Sean Dyche believes they are close to retrieving the resilience that made them a force to be reckoned with last season.

The Clarets conceded only 39 goals last season – 12 less than Arsenal – on their march to seventh spot and a return to European football for the first time in more than 50 years.

But this term they have already shipped 25, 13 of those in their last three games – albeit against unbeaten Manchester City and Chelsea in the first two of that run.

However, while the goals against have given cause for concern, Dyche is confident an improvement is around the corner.

“I think the margins are really tight,” he said. “They always are with us, so getting back on the right side of them is important. Sometimes it’s literally a matter of yards with shape details, and we’ve just come away from the one per cents.

“We’ve been really good at the things that edge it your way, and if you get lots of them that aren’t quite on, it can affect your outcomes, but some of them are coming back.

“Early season we needed four or five things, but it’s coming back. It’s not a literal measurement, but the feel, the Burnley thing we’ve got going on, the relentlessness, the attitude, there’s signs it’s coming back.

“We’ve got to speed that up, but sometimes there has to be patience. No one wants that, we don’t, fans and media don’t, but sometimes there has to be for groups to find their way again.

“It comes through coaching and realignment, but also time, bonding again and finding their way and letting it come back to a norm.

“We’re not far off our norm, and when we get back there, I’ll be in a better position to tell you about the margins.

“We know where we are and we’re just off that, and it’s cost us.”

It was put to Dyche that Burnley had been guilty of conceding late goals in their recent run, but the Burnley boss said: “We’ve just conceded a lot of goals, whether they’re early or late is irrelevant when you’re conceding too many.

“We know we’ve got to make sure we tighten up during the game in general, it’s not about timings, it’s just making sure we get back to that right group which prevents teams having opportunities or limits them to not as good opportunities, and uses that wisely to go and get what we want by attacking teams.

“We need to find that balance.”