Lowton serves rare Clarets ban

Matt Lowton

Matt Lowton

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Matt Lowton sits out the Boxing Day home game with Middlesbrough through suspension after picking up five bookings.

And, remarkably, it is the first ban a Burnley player has had to serve for footballing matters in 20 months.

Andre Gray incurred a four-game punishment for historic tweets earlier in the season, but for indiscretions on the pitch, you have to go back to when Ashley Barnes was sent off for two yellow cards in the 1-0 reverse at Everton in April 2015.

The Clarets failed to collect a red card or suspension under the totting up process throughout the 46-game Championship-winning season, and Sean Dyche is proud of his players' discipline in an era when it is easier than ever to get booked.

He also had a cleaner record than he might be perceived to have had, as a rugged centre back: "As everyone knows, I was absolutely mental as a player!

"In fact I was never ever suspended for bookings in a season, the most I ever had was three.

"I only got sent off twice in 500 games and only one of them was a bad one, the other was two yellows.

"One was a bad tackle at Northampton, I deserved to go. A high tackle, a mistimed tackle.

"Apparently I was crazy, mental. But I used to do it without getting sent off or suspended.

"And my teams do it, that's weird isn't it?

"They run hard but don't get suspended and are always at the top of the league for fair play.

"We work hard and play hard. But there's never anything untoward."

Dyche has no specific disciplinary system, just values he expects of his players: "No, just play the right way, that's all I ever say to them.

"I say don't ever involved with referees, if anyone will question them I will question them.

"So don't get involved with referees, get on with the game.

"It sounds simplistic but that's what I told them when I first came here and they've accepted it.

"It does pretty well. And I haven't questioned that many (referees) down the years.

"Only when I think it's appropriate.

"The one on Sunday at Tottenham I did make it clear I thought he had a very good game - apart from that one key decision."

However, despite Burnley being, on the face of it, no problem to manage for the officials, Dyche does wonder why they have been on the wrong end of so many key decisions: "We can't get decision in theory, and yet my players are in the good books every season.

"It's ironic, I can't work that one out myself."