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Dyche Happy With "Winning Draw"

12 August 2018

Sean Dyche was delighted to hit the ground running in the Premier League with a “winning draw” at Southampton.

The Clarets found Saints keeper Alex McCarthy in sparking form, and had a Jack Cork goal dubiously chalked off for offside in an opening hour they dominated at St Mary’s.

But after a gruelling week that saw Burnley travel 5,000 miles to Istanbul and then the south coast, Dyche was delighted at a second successive clean sheet to earn a precious point.

The gaffer said: “I was certainly pleased to come here and dominate for periods of the game, away from home.

“Result wise, it was a winning draw, as one of my old managers used to say.

“Also, in competitive games recently, we’ve had three of the last four away from home and all the demands, mentally and physically, that come with that.

“This has always, historically, been a tough place to come and I thought we dominated good spells of the game.

“I was delighted with the application and attitude and when they came into it, we defended resolutely and did the job we had to, to get a well-deserved point.

“We’ve done enough today to come away with a victory. Their keeper has made two very good saves and at the other end, top players don’t allow a keeper to make a save and we continue to mature into that, so there were so many good things today.”

Dyche, who went with Joe Hart in goal, in preference to Tom Heaton, explained: “Tom has only trained four or five days in the last three weeks, and it was a tough thing to explain to him because of his desire to play.

“He is a top goalkeeper, but I didn’t think that was enough football and it’s a big decision.

“Joe has done well again today and earned another clean sheet behind a back four who have done well, and Tom has been brilliant for me, so many times over a long period.

“But those decisions are my job and you want that demand. I mentioned before the window that we want people who are battling to play, not those where there are big gaps and some who are more starters than others.

“You want that real demand and it’s there with the keepers, as with the outfield players.

The Clarets now return home this week, for two games againat Istanbul Basaksehir in the Europa League on Thursday, followed by Watford's visit to Turf Moor on Sunday.

And Dyche again hinted at changes against the Turkish side, where any win would guarantee his players a play-off game to enter the group stages.

He said: "There’s every chance we’ll change things again on Thursday.

"I’ve said all along that although the Europa League is a badge of honour for a club like ours, we have to remind ourselves that the Premier League is what we are about and that remains our biggest challenge.”

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