Burnley boss Sean Dyche addresses 'fit and fresh' pre-season displays, his pride in seeing young guns thrive and the return of Matej Vydra!

Burnley boss Sean Dyche commended his players for their fit and fresh-looking approach against the Seasiders.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 10:27 am
Updated Thursday, 29th July 2021, 10:28 am
Burnley defender Bobby Thomas celebrates his winning goal against Blackpool

The Turf Moor chief also praised the energy and tempo within his side's display as they ran out 1-0 winners on the coast.

“We mixed the side a bit again but there was a good attitude from the start,” said Dyche.

“We looked fresh and we looked at it and I was really pleased overall.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche looks on at Bloomfield Road

“There was a real good energy and tempo to our play. We need to sharpen up a little bit with our chances because we created enough tonight but there was a real good feel to us.

“We want games that feel like that because it certainly did feel like a real game and yet again there was a nice atmosphere with fans in the stadium.

“It all adds to it and the build-up to the season.”

Bobby Thomas became the second Academy star to open his account for the first team when netting the only goal of the game in the 76th minute.

Matej Vydra of Czech Republic is closed down by Andrew Robertson, Liam Cooper and John McGinn of Scotland during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between Scotland v Czech Republic at Hampden Park on June 14, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

After teenager Lewis Richardson scored his first senior goal against Oldham Athletic, it was the defender's turn to break his duck.

The 20-year-old — who scored during a loan spell with Barrow in League Two last term — powered a header beyond Chris Maxwell from Ashley Westwood's corner.

Dyche said: "The good side of Covid and all the challenges we had last season was that a lot of the young players here have been around the first team a lot now.

"It's a bit more familiar to them, they adapt better, but there are a few good performers at the moment. I'm quite pleased with that."

Both sides had their chances in an open and entertaining fixture at Bloomfield Road.

Maxwell was the first of the two goalkeepers to be tested when making a couple of saves in quick succession to deny Josh Brownhill and Richardson.

While comfortably claiming the first of those efforts, which Brownhill struck from the edge of the penalty area, the follow up was far more impressive as he clawed the 18-year-old's effort off the line.

Richardson went close to adding to his finish at Boundary Park once again when sliding in at the far post to connect with Jay Rodriguez's delivery, but the teenager couldn't direct his effort on target.

Maxwell saved well at his near post when Anthony Gomez's attempt on the turn took a deflection while Dwight McNeil's strike cleared the crossbar as the Clarets cranked up the pressure.

Neil Critchley's men had to be patient to fashion their first opportunity of the fixture, but Burnley debutant Wayne Hennessey passed his first test to deny Jerry Yates after CJ Hamilton picked out his team-mate inside the box.

The ex-Crystal Palace keeper was called into action again moments later, shifting to his right hand side to beat away Demetri Mitchell's powerful drive across goal.

McNeil was a whisker away from breaking the deadlock as play switched once more to the other end, his left-footed effort travelling just wide of the upright with Maxwell rooted to the spot.

The home side's best chance of the half fell to last season's top scorer but Yates couldn't keep his effort down once Hamilton and Sonny Carey had combined well in the build up.

The second half brought changes for both sides, with Critchley and Dyche ringing the changes, but the action was still end-to-end.

Carey should have done better when stepping on to Hamilton's cross inside the penalty area but the ball ended up with the Blackpool fans stationed behind the goal.

Ashley Barnes, who netted in the friendly against Morecambe at the Barnfield Training Centre, thought he had his second of pre-season when heading the ball home.

However, celebrations were quickly muted as the linesman's flag was raised for offside.

He should have had the opener not-so-long after when picked out by McNeil's pinpoint cross. The striker, however, was as shocked as everybody else to see his close range header drift wide of the post.

Erik Pieters went close with a stylish effort with the outside of his boot and Barnes was denied by James Husband's last-ditch block as the striker looked to pull the trigger.

With time running out it looked as though the game was heading towards a goalless draw. But the visitors had other ideas.

Westwood swung in the corner and Thomas met the cross with a powerful header to open his account for the Clarets.

And that's how it finished.

“There were a number of productive performances tonight," Dyche finished.

"I enjoyed it. I thought we were very strong in the first 30 minutes, they had a few chances after that.

"We changed the side in the second half and I thought we were very strong.

"My only question to the team would be that little bit more quality in the final third because we created enough to be a bit more comfortable than we were.

"The shape was good, the energy was good, there were some very strong performances. We want that, we want their eyes to be alive to play."

Dyche could have another body available to him for the visit of Brighton and Hove Albion on the opening day of the Premier League campaign.

The 29-year-old reported back for duty at the Barnfield Training Centre on Monday following his involvement with the Czech Republic at Euro 2020.

Dyche expects the ex-Watford and Derby County forward to get back up to speed quite quickly, though he still faces a race against time to be fit and ready for the visit of the Seagulls.

“We only brought him back in on Monday, but he did the testing period,” said Dyche.

“He will do a few tough days just to bring him up to speed.

“He’s pretty fit because he had a period with the Czech team so we hope to get him up to speed quite quickly.”

On Pope’s progression, Dyche added: “We’ll wait and see. He’s going along nicely at the minute. I very rarely put timescales on things, but he’s going along well.”