Burnley boss Sean Dyche delighted with response against Newcastle United, but felt Andy Carroll should have seen red
Sean Dyche was delighted with his players’ response as they bounced back from a heavy defeat at Spurs to beat Newcastle at Turf Moor.
The Clarets suffered a 5-0 reverse at Tottenham last week, a third-successive setback, but put that behind them to register a sixth clean sheet of the season, as Chris Wood headed the only goal.
The New Zealand striker nodded in a corner from the returning a Ashley Westwood, having won the flag kick in the first place by pressuring Federico Fernandez.
Dyche said: “I think it was a tight game, we all saw that, we probably expected it to be because they play that way where they do keep it tight, and they’ve done that very well over the last few weeks.
“And after a tricky start, they’ve performed very well the last four or five games, and got good points on the table.
“But I was most pleased with the reaction, we’ve had a tough week and then people start making noises about it, and that can affect players, but it didn’t look like it.
“I thought there was a clear-mindedness to the performance, when we needed to play, we did, when we needed to affect the game, we did, and then we were very resolute.
“Defensively it was a very resolute performance as well. If you get those things right, you’ve got a chance of coming out on top of the tight margins, and we did that.”
Wood might have had a penalty in the first half, after his flick was handled by Paul Dummett, but a VAR check came to nothing, and Dyche admits Newcastle could feel disgruntled by the build up to the winner: “It’s a tough one, the game is in a kind of flux with all these decisions, they had a tough one for the corner (for the goal), is it a foul? Not necessarily, but the modern game suggests it probably is - if you touch anyone in the back now, they go down and it ends up normally as a foul.
“It’s not something I enjoy about the game nowadays, but that’s the way it goes, Brucey I think will be aggrieved by that.
“Then we’ve taken a great corner, worked the tactic well, and Woody scores a great goal.
“On the other hand, I was surprised by Andy Carroll staying on the pitch, just in the modern game, no disrespect to him. If you leave an elbow and it’s too far, too high and too late, then the way the modern game is, you probably get sent off.
“It shouldn’t be a game of decisions, but it might be talked about as that.
“But, overall, I think we edged it, and it was important to edge it.”
On Carroll, who caught Ben Mee with a late straight elbow, having come from some distance away, Dyche added: “Ben’s used to getting knocked about, he’s alright, he is an old school centre half, in a good way, tough as teak.
“I don’t think there was any malice in it, I don’t think it was nasty, I just think it’s the way the game is, if you get a loose elbow like that, you normally get sent off.
“In my day, it was just a standard weekly event!
“I don’t think there’s anything in it, I just think it’s loose, and that usually is a red card. They, the VAR, decided not, and we had to go with it, and they had to go with a decision I’m sure Brucey won’t be very pleased with.”
Burnley had chances to add to their lead, the best engineered by sponsors’ man of the match Jack Cork: “Corky kills it, great feet, great steal, he’s controlled in what he’s doing, but their keeper comes off his line quickly and makes a good save.
“Woody had one at the end where it’s dropping out of the sky, and if he controls that he’s in.
“It wasn’t a game of amazing chances but you’ve got to find a way of winning games like that, and over the time I’ve been here, we’ve been good at that, not every week, but I thought we were good at it today and edged it enough.”
Dyche made three changes, with Westwood, Ashley Barnes and Phil Bardsley in for Robbie Brady, Jay Rodriguez and Matt Lowton, and he said of Barnes: “Really pleased, he was struggling to get through games, and we had to make a big call last week to take him out to give him the extra days rest, and it worked because he looked sharper, stronger and I thought he delivered.
“Woody stuck at it, he’s been ill a few days, Westy slotted back in seamlessly - he’s a good player and fits what we do. There were some good performances all round.
“The main thing for me was that edge we play with, we played with it - the last couple we didn’t.
“I said to the players last week, Tottenham are a good side, we know that, but they was a subservience, and you can’t do that.
“Once they smell blood, you’re gone. But today there was a forcefulness to our play, there was a deliberate edge, and it gets us a nice win.”