Sean Dyche was pleased to see the impact a change of shape had on the game at Aston Villa – and he admits he will use it again when necessary.
Dyche switched from the tried and tested 4-4-2, to more of a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 system at Villa Park at half-time, and the move saw his side wrest back an element of control.
Jay Rodriguez came on for Jack Cork, and went to the right, with Ashley Barnes moved to the left, Ashley Westwood sitting, and Dwight McNeil and Jeff Hendrick both trying to supplement the attack.
Rodriguez scored the first equaliser, with Barnes involved, and Dyche said: “It calmed the game down. I don’t want to be too big time about it because the players deliver it.
“We haven’t done loads on it, because I have let it naturally unfold, but we did it in pre-season and we did it at Brighton.
“We know Jay can play off one side, and we know that Barnesy can do it, he played a lot of football coming off the left for Brighton.
“We know it is there and we can use it when we need it.
“We know Dwight can come inside and Jeff certainly can.
“Westy or Corky can play in the deeper role.
“The thing I was pleased with, was that it was whether we locked down their sitting midfielder, or we played with one, and we decided to leave theirs and go and get the ball.
“I was pleased with that - I thought it was quite evident that we started playing, probing and calming the game down with the ball, while still trying to affect things.
“The players deserve credit.”
The details are always important for Dyche, and up against a side with a number of unfamilar players – in terms of Premier League experience – he was ultimately pleased with how things panned out, after Villa had seized the initiative, going in at the break 1-0 up after a goal on the counter attack.
Dyche said of Villa: “They are good players.
“You can’t be in the Premier League, no matter how you get there, unless you have good players.
“So everyone gets attention from our point of view.
“The planning was good, the performance was good in different ways, and the biggest thing was the mentality, which I thought was outstanding.”