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Gaffer Hails Joey's Tale Of The Unexpected!

14 January 2017

Sean Dyche hailed another tale of the unexpected as Joey Barton capped his second league debut with Burnley by grabbing a precious winner.

Barton drilled home a free kick 12 minutes from the end of a tight game against Southampton to hand the Clarets a sixth win in seven home Premier League games.

And the gaffer admitted his headline maker had just written another page in his extraordinary career.

“Joey has an interesting story,” he laughed. “Each time you turn a new page you don’t know what’s going to come next.

“I am pleased for him and us. I felt he slipped straight back into life with us and unfortunately, Deano picked up a niggly hamstring, so we had to take him off.

Joey has then come on and got us the goal. He has worked so hard since he’s been back here and I tend to believe in people I’ve worked with.

“I know what he offers us and he has an interesting life, to say the least. Today is another strange twist in that life.

“But it’s about more than Joey, remember. There is a group of players here who give you every inch of what they’ve got and that’s something I take great pride in.”

The Saints had the lions’ share of possession, especially in the opening half, as they provided a stern test of the Clarets home credentials.

Dyche added: “Southampton are a really good side, I think. I know they had lost three on the trot, but I’d seen those performances and they weren’t those type of games.

“We knew we were in for a tough task today and they certainly brought the game to us off the back of good result in midweek.

“They came with a tempo, will and demand to get us on the back foot – and they did for spells in the first half.

“What I was pleased with was our mental focus to keep doing the basics and be in the game.

"In the second half it balanced out as it went on and we know our players are more than capable of going until the last whistle blows.

“That was on show in the last 15 minutes, when we started to get on the front foot, so I am just so pleased overall.”

The win was preserved by a brilliant double save from Tom Heaton in the dying minutes. Heaton dived to deny former Claret Jay Rodriguez, before somehow clawing away a follow-up from fellow-sub Josh Sims.

Dyche added: “It felt like a tight game all day and keeping clean sheets is so difficult.

"You are playing against so many good players every week at this level, so it makes it so demanding.

“Tom made a really important double save there at the end. I was delighted at his focus because before then he’d had clean hands, but not much meaningful to do because of the performance of the defensive unit, but it was a fantastic double save.”

“It’s a really strong set of results we are putting together at home. We are humble with how we work though and we’re not making out we are the real deal."

“I think we have a group who don’t get carried away and know the demands of this league. We’ve made sense of that and they’ll know when the whistle blows again we have to be on top of our performance levels.”

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