Sean Dyche hailed Burnley’s achievement of qualifying for Europe as an “absolutely incredible” following their humbling at Arsenal.
The Clarets boss cited a combination of the Clarets celebrating their news, and Arsenal wanting to give manager Arsene Wenger a farewell to remember in his final home game, for the heavy defeat at an emotional Emirates Stadium.
But Dyche insisted the loss would not take the gloss off his side’s efforts in securing seventh place and a first European campaign in 51 years.
The gaffer said: “I think Arsenal raised their performance considerably today, but we came into the game on the back of yesterday’s news that we’d qualified for the Europa League.
“That meant all of a sudden we had nothing to play for and I think that showed. Players are human after all - and then if you add in what it stood for today, for Arsene and the whole occasion, we couldn’t find a performance.
“We lost Ashley Barnes early on, which didn’t help and we’re waiting on news from the hospital about an injury to his shoulder/collar bone.
“But that’s not to take anything away from Arsenal. They were good and really turned up, but we just lacked that edge we play with.
“You need that edge, particularly when you play the big sides, but we just didn’t have it today and I understand that.
“These big sides can hurt you on any given days and sometimes reality bites. Today it did.
“You have players out there who are £50m and /£60m a throw and they are top class.
“We are still developing players and trying to turn them in to better players, but that takes time and you have to take a few knocks along the way.
“Today was one of those days, but in the bigger picture – and it’s important to remember this – it’s been a huge, huge season by my players.
“They have been absolutely incredible this season, so I am certainly not going to over-question today.”
Dyche was full of praise for his counterpart, who he presented with a special gift on behalf of the club ahead of kick off.
He said: “He has brought so much to the game. He and Sir Alex – who all our thoughts are with – are both titans of the game.
“Arsene is a legend of a manager and I think in 10 years’ time the Arsenal fans will be looking back and thinking what an era this has been.
"He has transformed a club into the machine that it is and all the different things he has done on the coaching side and his philosophy, which he has really delivered, make him a legend.
“Our own fans were great again today and they were very appreciative of Arsene today, and rightly so.
“Now we look forward to being back at home next week and delivering a big performance to sign off with in front of our own fans.”