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Dyche: Defensive Diligence Saw Us Through

29 February 2020

Sean Dyche admitted he was left feeling a little flat as his in-form side failed to fire in a Tyneside stalemate.

A solid defensive display and a fourth clean sheet in five games – making it a league best 11 for the season – laid solid foundations as Burnley extended their unbeaten run to six.

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And Dyche felt the disappointment at not earning a first win at Newcastle since 1976 was more acute, given his side’s impressive recent revival.

“We have come on the road to this football club, where Newcastle have only lost three times all season, and we’ve got a clean sheet and a point and I’m still a bit disappointed. That’s a marker to where we are now,” said Dyche.

“Four wins and two draws is not an easy run to put together in the Premier League, but we are often better than people think.

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“We are on 38 points and I’m always hungry for more. I have to remain balanced because are still a work in progress and there are no statements of grandeur.

“I just feel a little bit deflated because we came here in good spirits and looked a bit flat.

“I’m sure tomorrow morning, when I wake up, I’ll be a lot more pleased than I am now, but I do expect a lot of these players and they should too because they are maturing all the while and earning the right to be in the Premier League.

“I’m probably being hyper-critical of the players because they have put a lot of points on the board recently, but you do get greedy and more expectant of performance levels.

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“I think with what we had achieved in the last five games, coming into this one, I was expecting more confidence with the ball.

“However, we did all the hard yards to ensure we got a clean sheet and a point.”

The Clarets created little of note, but rarely looked in danger of losing the game thanks to a superb collective defensive display, as England manager Gareth Southgate watched on from the stands at St James’ Park.

“There was a lot of huff and puff from ourselves and I thought we were below-par offensively, but defensively very strong,” added Dyche.

“I think that’s 11 clean sheets now, which is the best in the league, so that side of it is very pleasing.

“We just never got into the feel of the game, or even found enough quality to go and open the game up in our favour.

“I thought in the first half there was a nervousness in the stadium and I said to the players, they are the moments where we can grow.

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“In the second half, credit to them because they got the ball forwards more and asked more questions, but our defensive diligence was very good and snuffed out most of the problems they caused.”

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