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Dyche hails strong mentality

15 March 2014

Sean Dyche has praised the relentless mentality within his squad once again after a hard-fought victory over Leeds United.

Scott Arfield scored the deciding goal as Burnley came from behind to go ten points clear in second place in the Championship table.

The Clarets won for the fourth time in the last five games and completed their first league double over their Yorkshire opponents since the 1926/27 season.

Moreover, they also extended their unbeaten run in the Championship to fourteen matches and remain without defeat in the league in 2014.

And the Burnley manager was pleased with his team at the end of a busy week of games and was already moving his focus onto the next match – away against Charlton next Saturday.

Dyche said: “It was a hard-earned win today. Nobody comes here and lies down and Leeds really had a go. They gave a good performance for what they are trying to achieve, but overall I thought we deserved it [the three points] again.

“The great value I take in this group is to come off Blackburn [last Sunday] – such a big game given the annals of history and the feel of it – and go and deliver again at Birmingham when we were very unlucky with the decision that went against us.

“I said then that it would repay us back because somehow football works itself out and I thought it did today early doors when a slip [allowed] Ross McCormack [to] get through. He hit the post [before] a fantastic challenge by Jason Shackell.

“Moments like that are important and defining sometimes and after it we were relentless again in search of the three points which we got.

“We’ve got a strong mentality and a great physicality and we [also] know that we’ve got quality and organisation.

“It bodes well, but we have to keep taking care of our business. That’s the clarity we need.

“We’ve got to go down to Charlton next week. They’re fighting in different ways, it’s one game at a time and we’ll look forward to that one.”

Ashley Barnes was given his first start for the Clarets this afternoon since signing from Brighton and Hove Albion in January.

The striker replaced the injured Danny Ings in the Burnley line-up and partnered Sam Vokes up front.

And Dyche was satisfied with the 24-year-old’s performance – including his involvement in the winning goal.

The gaffer added: “He worked very hard and got off to a bit of a nervy start in the first 15-20 minutes. That can happen as it was his home debut.

“But I thought he grew into the game and his mentality, work ethic and some of the hold-up play was excellent today.

“And I must say: forwards can be a bit greedy, but he showed clarity when Scottie hit it [for the winner] and he [Barnes] jumped out of the way and the ball flew into the net.

“It’s very difficult when you’re footballer to sit there [on the bench] and they’re all thinking: ‘I should be playing’.

“The great thing about this group, though, is that they’ve all got the mentality to come in, fit into the system and go and deliver performances.”

Meanwhile, the Burnley manager also revealed Ings will undergo further examination before the full extent of the ankle injury he sustained during the game against Birmingham City on Wednesday could be determined.

Dyche said: “He’ll see a specialist next week. We’ll see how he fares with that one, but he wasn’t close for today.

“I think he will need a bit more time and we’ll see how he develops, but I don’t want to say too much before we get the clarity from the specialist.”

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