Defender Michael Keane has urged the Clarets to become more ‘streetwise’ to give themselves a better chance of surviving in the Premier League.
Following the 2-0 defeat against Stoke City at the Bet365 Stadium, the club’s fifth reversal on the road in six outings in the top flight, the 23-year-old suggested that he and his team-mates need to learn lessons in gamesmanship to be on a par with their opposition.
Sean Dyche’s side were almost too honest at times against the Potters and they were made to pay for it as Jonathan Walters and Marc Muniesa inspired the hosts to victory.
The Spaniard netted his first goal in English football shortly after Burnley, who were on the attack, put the ball in to touch with Charlie Adam down injured.
The hosts, with a very unsportsmanlike gesture, refused to return the ball, playing it out further down the touchline, and eventually benefited from it.
Then, in the second half, the away side’s honesty went unrewarded once more as striker Andre Gray battled to stay on his feet despite Muniesa’s best attempts to impede his run. The one-time Barcelona defender, much to Dyche’s dismay, escaped with a yellow card.
Asked if they need to show a shrewder side in games, the England international said: “Yes, I think that’s the case. I think we’ve got to be more streetwise, like other teams are.
“It’s not cheating. It’s just not a nice way to play. But they did it and ended up getting a goal from it. So maybe we’ve got to look at doing that more.”
“I think the players in general were frustrated with what happened (with the second goal). I think it’s pretty poor from them. So it was just more of a reaction than anything else. It’s something we need to do better.
“A lot of teams in the league do it. They go down when they get a little nudge, and they do little things like that. We’re probably too much of an honest group.”
Meanwhile, Keane feels the second half performance against Mark Hughes’s men provided a truer reflection of the Clarets.
“I thought we were more like ourselves,” he said. “I think so all game. Maybe we got away from it for 10 or 15 minutes in the first half.
“Apart from that, I thought it was much better, and although the result didn’t go our way, I thought the performance was a lot to build on.
“We started the game really well in the first 10 minutes, couldn’t quite capitalise on the pressure we had. That was the story of the whole game. They scored two goals and didn’t create a lot in the game.
“The first goal’s pretty lucky. The second one’s a soft goal to concede. He’s run all the way from centre-back. Apart from that, which is obviously massive, I thought we played well, much better.
“We had a lot of the pressure but probably just needed a bit more quality in the final third to create chances and score.”
Keane added: “I think if we keep performing like we did today, especially in the second half, we will start to pick up points. We’ve been a bit unlucky with the goals we’ve conceded, but you can’t complain about those things.
“You just hope that something fall for us in the coming weeks. We’ve got to keep performing like we did today, and I’m sure the results will turn around.”