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Dyche Hails Strong Mentality

14 April 2018

Sean Dyche hailed his players’ mentality as they racked up a fifth successive Premier League win to strengthen their grip of seventh spot.

The Clarets opened up a nine-point gap on closest challengers Leicester City through a quickfire early double from Chris Wood and Kevin Long.

And after defending the lead resolutely following Jamie Vardy’s 72nd minute goal, the Clarets boss was delighted at his team’s show of strength.

Dyche said: “It’s very difficult in this league to win games back to back, let alone five, and the group deserve it.

“If you imagine the mentality to come out of a run of 11 games in this league without a win and then put five wins together, that takes a tough mindset.

“There is a mentality that, if things go against us, it’s never because of effort or organisation.

"That gritty determination is a marvellous thing and all wins are important for many different reasons, but especially that one today.”

Wood slotted home at the second attempt to open the scoring in the sixth minute, followed three minutes later by a first Premier League goal for Kevin Long with a bullet header from a right-wing corner.

Vardy’s clinical finish with 19 minutes to go was reward for the Foxes’ growing second half pressure, although they couldn’t find a way to breach the disciplined Burnley defence a second time.

Dyche added: “You look at all aspects of a performance and today we’ve had to show both sides.

"I felt we took the game on with a front-foot mentality and got a two-goal cushion and saw the first half out pretty well.

“We were effective in all areas, but it’s hard to dominate 90 minutes of football, especially at this level and the second half was a different affair.

“We started out brightly but they got a bit of momentum and at times they were almost five or six players in advance of the ball.

“That made it a different kind of game and we had to be resilient, had to work hard and do all the ugly things to see the game through.

“It’s the madness of football. If it had been 0-0 at half time, I don’t think they’d have played as they did in the second half, but the probably thought ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ and flooded the forward areas and made it very difficult.

“Then you have to grind out a result, and we did, with an outstanding display from ‘Popey’.

“He’s made some big saves over this season, and in general has been well protected by the team. Now and again you need to come to the fore and he’s done that today.”

The victory led to more questions about Burnley’s ever-increasing chances of qualifying for next season’s Europa League.

And Dyche laughed: “I think every person who has ever supported Burnley, even for one second of their life, would have taken me answering questions about Europe!

“There have been some tough times in these parts, both at the cub and in the area generally, and it’s bringing a smile to a lot of faces.

“It’s a very important thing. In this area the people back the club and the club backs the town.

“There’s a really big connection and days like these must be good for everyone.”

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