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Dyche Plays Down Formation Change

4 April 2014

Sean Dyche has insisted the change of tactical shape does not alter his thinking as Burnley prepare for the away trip to Watford on Saturday.

The Clarets will arrive at Vicarage Road looking to get back to winning ways after they suffered only their fourth league defeat of the season against Leicester City last weekend.

An early injury to Sam Vokes forced the Burnley manager to change his formation – from 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 to 4-1-4-1 – in the top-of-the-table clash.

And as the Clarets are set to be without both Vokes and his strike partner Danny Ings once more tomorrow afternoon, they could again line-up in a different system than usual.

However, Dyche has played down the importance of the tactical formation ahead of the visit to his former club.

He said: “We all know the key stat and that’s putting the ball in at one end and stopping it from going in at the other.

“Generally, though, our performance stats against Leicester were good.

“We just didn’t penetrate as much as we hoped for and we didn’t get bodies forward as high and as early as we normally do.

“That was the biggest change in comparison to the way that we’ve used Sam and the way he’s played a big part for us. We like the two strikers to be up there and one coming off the shape.

“But it is what it is now and we know some good things about it. It is a different way of playing and it does take time for the players to adapt to it.

“As regards to the players we’ve got, there’s no natural out-and-out striker.

“But it sometimes comes down to yardages and I’ve made it clear many times. Whether you use 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2, you’re talking about 5-7 yards when one striker plays off the other.

“You can overthink these things, although there are no massive differences.

“The 3-5-2 that Watford use is arguably the real different shape, but 4-1-4-1, 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2 are very, very similar.”

Burnley will also continue to be missing Dean Marney, who completes his two-game suspension and Kieran Trippier at the weekend, while Junior Stanislas could sit out the match with a tight hamstring, too.

The Clarets manager remains confident in his squad, though – especially that he expects to welcome back most of his injured players sooner rather than later as his team look to strengthen their grip on second place in the Championship table.

Dyche added: “We are probably stretched to our limits at the moment which is the most we have been as a squad this season.

“But it could all rapidly change in the next three to four days as the way the [injured] lads have come this week has been very positive.

“We’re in a nice position and there are big challenges coming our way, which continues with Watford on Saturday.

“We want to make sure that we’ll go there in good spirit and with good understanding of the challenge that lies right in front of us, which we will do.”

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