Gaffer urges players to play with freedom
Sean Dyche urged his players to lose the fear factor following the 0-1 home defeat to Hull City at Turf Moor.
The Clarets fell to a classy Stephen Quinn strike midway through the second half, which settled a tight game to send the Tigers into an automatic promotion spot in the Championship.
And Dyche accepts that his players need to battle their way through a collective lack of form and play with the freedom that will restore confidence to the ranks.
The Burnley boss said: “The result was disappointing and we just have to lose this fear.
“There is a massive expectation at this club – possibly greater than I imagined when I got here.
“It’s fair to say we are transitioning out of the Premier League in terms of the finance, etc.
“But that aside, we all have to learn to deal with that. The team are playing with that little bit of fear at the moment and that costs you.
“You have to relax and go and play and we are trying to promote that with them.
“There is plenty of huff and puff and no lack of effort.
“The organisation is good because we are not conceding drastically. But in the top third that freedom and effervescence to go and make a difference is not there.
“People look a bit fearful and the reaction times of players and all the tiny things you notice are evident.
“There are tiny margins that change games and we are the wrong side of those margins at the moment.
“But it will come; it has to, because we want to be progressive and win matches.”
Dyche made five changes to the starting line-up as Ben Mee, Michael Duff and Ross Wallace came through unscathed on their return from injury.
But the winning formula continued to evade the Clarets at home, as Wallace came closest to hitting the target with a first half effort well saved by Hull stopper David Stockdale.
Dyche added: “There are challenges for us at the moment, make no mistake.
“The fans are demanding we do better and that’s no problem to me. But the players have to learn to deal with it.
“It’s part of being a footballer. Some deal with it more freely than others, but there is a fear and we are speaking to them about unlocking that fear because we have some good players who are just not playing as well as they can.
“It’s as simple as that. You have to deal with the expectation, but you also have to play to the best of your ability and we were doing that a short while ago.
“Now the same group of players look a little constricted.
“The expectation won’t go away though. It’s an important learning curve for the group and they have to learn quickly.”