Dyche: Fatigue Caught Up With Us
Sean Dyche felt fatigue finally caught up with his players as the Clarets ground out a stalemate at home to 10-man West Bromwich Albion.
The relegation-threatened Baggies came closest to earning a third win of the campaign in a game of precious few clear-cut openings.
And after seeing the visitors spurn two golden chances to win it late on, the Clarets boss was relieved to add another point to the total.
“I’m pleased to get a point because we were miles off,” admitted Dyche. “I demand a lot of these players, but today looked like a game too far.
“We looked flat and had no spark, not even that mental clarity. Physically, the players are still working, but that mental clarity to play was miles away from what we are used to.
“We are stretched to the limit now, and that’s showed. We were limited in what we could do and limited in what we had available to change things.
“We do need players to get fit again, because that was unrecognisable from what we normally are.”
In the 13th game in 42 days, the Clarets fared better against 11 men than after the Baggies’ numbers were reduced on the half hour mark, following the dismissal of defender Semi Ajayi for stopping a goal-scoring opportunity with the use of his hand.
And in a nervy finale, Mbaye Diagne sent his close-range effort against the top of the crossbar, before a goalline clearance from James Tarkowski somehow kept out an effort from Matheus Pereira.
Dyche added: “Against 11 we tried to open them up without playing well, but we still looked organised and found our shape well and still asked a few questions.
“When they went to 10, the edge and that sharpness just went, and we had players just making unrecognisable mistakes constantly.
“In the end we were trying to open up, but we opened up so much and gave the ball away so much, that teams are good in the Premier League and they will respond.
“So, I end up being pleased with a point in the end, because we were miles off and they had chances to go and nick it.”
The Clarets now have a blank week for the first time since early January before another three games in eight days will test their powers of recovery.
Dyche added: “The game schedule has been really unkind and that’s the first time it’s really caught us out.
“We have asked a lot of these players and some of them we have to just keep rolling out week after week, but the difference is when you are doing that Saturday to Saturday, you get a break.
“At the minute, it’s a relentless in terms of games. We did ask the Premier League for the Fulham game to not be this week and we can’t do anything about that.
“We have another in two weeks, where the Premier League have just kindly thrown another one at us, when they probably didn’t have to, but such is life.
“It’s a challenge and they are games that we’ll have to take on.
“It’s probably going to catch up eventually and we have got a clear week now after another tough week.
“We were very good at Palace, we were at least solid against Fulham in midweek, but today sometimes I have to be honest and look at them and say, ‘you have put a lot in’.
“We keep getting injuries and we have a number of big players missing, and the young players aren’t really ready yet.
“But we come away with another point and a clean sheet, which is the over-riding pleasing aspect.”