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Dyche Hails 'Mean Machine'

9 January 2014

Sean Dyche has urged his players to carry their mean defensive record from 2013 into the second half of the season.

Burnley ended the 2013 calendar year proudly boasting the best defensive record in the entire Football League, having conceded the fewest goals of all 72 clubs, along with Chesterfield.

League statistics show that Burnley only let in 0.82 goals per game; a dramatic improvement on the previous 12 months.

And as the Clarets look to return to league action following their New Year’s Day victory over Huddersfield Town - which elevated them back in to second spot - Dyche is looking for more of the same from his mean machine at Yeovil this weekend.

The Burnley boss said: “It was well documented when we came in here about the goals conceded.

“It was something like 2.6 a game, but we brought that down radically and the balance I was looking has been more evident over the last year.  

“We didn’t always get it as right as we were hoping as a group, but this season there has been a much better feel about the place, which is why we are doing so well.”

Tom Heaton with a crucial penalty save at Derby

Dyche added: “We’ve done very well this season over 2013 so, despite having an awkward run last year, the stats are pretty positive, both defensively and in attack.

“We want strikers to be active from the front to help the defence. 

“I think the forwards respect the fact that the defence works so hard to make sure we keep clean sheets, so when they score it’s a meaningful goal and we win games.”

The Clarets make their first ever visit to Huish Park seeking their first double of the season, having defeated the Glovers 2-0 at Turf Moor back in August.

The Clarets beat Yeovil back in August

Gary Johnson’s side currently sit 23rd in the Championship, but go into the game having defeated League One promotion hopefuls Leyton Orient 4-0 in the FA Cup last weekend.

However, Clarets defender Michael Duff is hoping to celebrate his 36th birthday on Saturday with an 11th clean sheet of the league season.

And Duff, now in his 10th year with the club, also believes an improved defensive ethos has been one of the main reasons for the Clarets scintillating form.

The Northern Ireland international said: “We are a talented group of players from back to front and the main reason we are doing so well this year is hard work; it’s as simple as that. 

“If you look at November 2012 we had the worst defensive record in the country. 

“It’s quite a big swing in just a few months from January to the last months. 

“It’s something we work hard on and it was frustrating, from a defending point of view, when we were conceding those goals because you’re getting battered every week and people are saying you can’t defend. 

“But it’s more of a group ethic now to defend from the front and from the defenders’ point of view we go on clean sheets, just as strikers go on goals!”

If you can't make it to Huish Park this weekend, Clarets Player has full 90-minute commentary from 2.45pm. CLICK HERE for details.
Story by Daniel Meeks

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