Sean Dyche was left to count the cost of the Clarets’ mistakes but isn’t complaining about Burnley’s points’ tally as they look to secure their Premier League future.
A 4-2 defeat at Liverpool made it three losses in a row for Dyche’s men – who are just two points clear of the bottom three.
But the Burnley boss felt that gap might have grown but for a series of costly errors at Anfield which smoothed Liverpool’s passage to a victory that took them back to within a point of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
Ashley Westwood’s first Burnley goal gave the Clarets an early lead and even at 3-1 down, an injury-time strike from Johann Berg Gudmundsson had home nerves on edge before Sadio Mane’s second goal with the last kick of the game finally got the stuttering Reds moving again.
“You can’t give away mistakes like we did today, definitely three out of the four (goals) and you could argue all four,” admitted Dyche.
“You can’t give away errors anyway in the Premier League, but certainly not at places like this.
“That’s my only gripe because a lot of the performance was very good, and the mentality was spot-on.
“Dwight McNeil was outstanding so, strangely, there were a lot of good things, which sounds mad when you lose 4-2.
“I was pleased with the changes and then you nick a goal – a good goal with a very clever ball around the corner from Vyds and Johann finished it nicely – and you wonder ‘is it that grandstand finish coming at our end?’
“The fans are going mad and they can smell it, I can smell it and then we make another error and the game’s gone.
“There were lots of good things, but I’m not naïve enough to think you can make errors like that.”
After an unbeaten eight-match run from Boxing Day had lifted the Clarets clear of the relegation places, they have now been dragged back towards the dogfight.
But Dyche is keeping things in perspective on the back of an upward curve since a testing start to the season, with the Clarets now facing back-to-back home games against Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers wrapped around the up-coming international break.
“We were written off after five games and written off after 19 games and yet we’re still here and still fighting and that’s what we will be doing,” added the Burnley boss.
“You have to think in the now, but the bigger picture is that after five games we had one point, after 19 games we had 12 points.
“If you’d had said to me ‘I can guarantee you 30 by now with eight games to go and five at home’, I’d have ripped your hand of.
“We can’t forget that, while also looking at the immediacy. We haven’t won in three and the next one is a big game – as they all are.
“We have to keep approaching it with the mentality we showed today, no matter what the score is, to keep going and keep working for everything we can get.
“We’ve come a long way. There’s been a lot of work done and there’s got to be more done.”