September 14, 2021


Boss Sean Dyche insists Burnley’s performance levels are still eclipsing those from the start of last season after Monday night’s third defeat of the campaign at Everton.

The Clarets took the lead at Goodison Park thanks to an excellent Ben Mee – celebrating his milestone 200th Premier League appearance for the club – header, before a rapid response from the hosts fired them to a 3-1 victory.

But the visitors showed major signs of promise throughout and Dyche, whose team are still chasing their first win of the Premier League season, believes it’s only fine margins that aren’t going their way.

He said: “Performance-wise, there are some really strong signs of what we are doing.

“We had spells like this at the beginning of last season with injuries. The performance levels are actually considerably better than at the beginning of last season, I think.

“We’ve got enough experience in the Premier League, both me – myself – the staff, the squad, to know how the league operates. We just need to make it come our way.

“I’m well aware of the things I think we need to improve on, and game management has improved considerably over my time here.

“But tonight we fell foul of that – managing the game wisely at 1-0.

“I was very pleased up until the [first Everton] goal. The performance and the way we controlled a lot of the game away from home, especially at a place like this.” Everton’s quickfire barrage turned the game on its head in a whirlwind seven-minute period under the Monday night lights.

Defender Michael Keane – who donned the Claret jersey for three seasons between 2014 and 2017 – headed Everton level at the near post before an Andros Townsend stunner left Nick Pope with no chance.

And when Demarai Gray surged clear to score his third league goal in as many games it left Dyche’s visitors with a mountain to climb on Merseyside.

Burnley next host Arsenal in a crucial clash on Saturday and Dyche added: “We concede an awkward first, when our shape wasn’t right after a set piece and they score.

“After that, it was just the madness of football. We had a mad six minutes and the game has got away from you.

“You are playing against some really good sides. But two of the goals tonight are giveaways from us, don’t forget.

“We have given the ball away too cheaply and they have opened us up – okay, one of them is a great goal of course, a great finish.

“But they were naive goals for a group who is not naive. Giving the ball away and getting done on transition twice, against a team who look like they are beginning to be that type of team – they are naive errors.”

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