Dyche delighted to edge tight game

Sean Dyche
Sean Dyche
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Clarets boss Sean Dyche was delighted to edge a tight game with Middlesbrough at Turf Moor.

Andre Gray's first goal since August came nine minutes from time, and prove enough to claim a sixth home win of the season so far.

Burnley arguably had the better of the first half, before Boro pressed in the second, but Gray's late volley sealed a big win.

And Dyche said: "It was a close one, you could think of it either way – a win for one team in a tight affair.

"In the end we've got the three points, over time we have found a way of doing that, no matter how we have to do that.

"It was difficult, not just their set up - they do defend the final third but also the conditions.

"It was really difficult today, the ball was swirling everywhere, it was hard to get it down to play. We want to played mixed football but it was difficult to do that."

Burnley might have had a first half penalty for handball against Callum Chambers, and Dyche felt they were other good chances in the opening 45 minutes: "Barnesy's had a chance, Boydy's had the free-kick, a couple of maybes, a penalty not given – I don't know where the referee's position was so it's a tough one to see – I've seen it afterwards and it's a penalty.

"I thought we edged the first half, certainly regards chances, they had the one good chance.

"Second half it turned into a bit of a ding-dong, I don't think conditions helped with that. Both teams tried to edge out a chance. It finally fell to Andre and he is a man that you like chances to fall to."

For Gray, it was a first goal since his strike against Liverpool: "He's got the freedom to miss. That sounds strange but the best strikers I came across or played against had that.

"They weren’t bothered if they missed a chance, they take the next one. You can tell by the way he's struck it, he's not overthought it, it's dropped out of the sky, he's hit it instinctively with power and pace, low around the keeper's feet and it makes it hard for the keeper.

"It just about gets over the line. Credit to Andre because he stayed in the game, where there wasn't a lot dropping, it was a hard game. They've done very well with that – if you look at their record away from home, only lost twice. They've shown they can go on the road, we're still piecing it together. One the other hand, our home form's very strong. We're still looking for the balance."

The only downside was a booking for Jeff Hendrick, his fifth of the season, ruling him out of the game with Sunderland on New Year's Eve.

That was one of 11 bookings in the game, with six for Burnley incurring an FA fine, and Dyche said: "It was not that type of game, actually, but we all know the modern game. It's hard for the referees because players are going everywhere. What do you do.

"That's where it is tough. Free-kicks get given, bookings come. I don't think any of you thought it was that type of game."