In the cutthroat world of Premier League football, you don’t often hear managers heaping praise onto the opposition but following yesterday’s clash between Burnley and Crystal Palace at Turf Moor, that’s exactly what Clarets boss Sean Dyche did in front of the press.
These comments from Sean Dyche are incredibly honest, which makes a hugely pleasant change from normal approach managers take to post-match press conferences. Obviously, given the statistical breakdown of the game, it would be difficult for him to say anything else while continuing to sound credible but even so, I’m keen to praise him for categorically stating that we were the better side on the day.
Having switched the team back into a more familiar 4-3-3 formation ahead of the game, Frank de Boer will no doubt have seen enough in his players to believe that they can get that elusive first win of the season at home to Southampton on Saturday afternoon and if his words yesterday were anything to go by, I’m pretty sure Sean Dyche would echo that thought.
After Lee Chung-Yong gifted the hosts a third minute lead, they didn’t really pose too great a threat to us in an attacking sense, preferring instead to retreat to the edge of their own penalty area and allow chance after to chance to fall our way. Yes, we were infuriatingly profligate but for me, the mere fact that we managed to create so many clear-cut chances was a sign that things may indeed be about to change for the better.
The mentality of a professional footballer is a notoriously delicate thing and now, for the first time this season, they will head into a full week of training knowing that their performance last time out deserved a great more than it got. It may seem incredibly subtle but ahead of a game in front of their own fans, that sense of injustice should be something that is actively encouraged rather than stifled.
Can we turn it round? After yesterday’s performance I wholeheartedly believe we can. Let’s hope that feeling is still intact by Saturday evening.
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