EPL

Sean Dyche happy that ‘win ugly’ approach paid off against Burnley

By Sports Desk April 06, 2024

Everton manager Sean Dyche admits his change in tactics to “win ugly” paid off as a 1-0 victory over 10-man Burnley eased some of their relegation worries.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who ended his six-month wait for a goal with the equaliser at Newcastle in the week, charged down Arijanet Muric’s clearance seconds before the end of the first half for the only goal and a first league win since December.

Luton’s victory over Bournemouth means Dyche’s side remain only four points above the drop zone but they have put another club – Brentford – between them.

“Important and welcome,” was his assessment of the result.

“We looked at the idea of how well we had played this season and not won so we deliberately tried to play it long and strong and play the game as awkward and ugly as possible and get an an ugly win and it worked.

“We gave the ball away too cheaply but there is a nervousness when you have been on a run like that. That stops the storyline and we have to build on that.

“But the winning mentality is important and I think it was on show today to make sure we found a win.”

The three points were even more vital with the ruling of a second independent commission into profitability and sustainability breaches – for which they have already been docked six points this season – expected next week.

“You are trying to control the controllables,” Dyche added.

“We’ve had another step forward to change that today, I’m not saying we have every answer but it is a very important victory I think that’s another step forward in the mentality to take the rest of the season on.”

Clarets defender Dara O’Shea was sent off in the 67th minute after bringing down Dwight McNeil just over the halfway line and boss Vincent Kompany felt referee Michael Oliver’s decision was harsh at best.

“The letter of the law says he should have been denying a goalscoring opportunity to be sent off and I’ll let you guys make your judgement on that.

“There was a lot of force on the ball and it would be a comfortable pick up for the goalkeeper.”

Defeat left 19th-placed Burnley six points from safety but Kompany refused to blame his goalkeeper.

“He has to keep going. It is part of being a professional footballer. We all live with the mistakes we make, it happens for everyone in life and in football it is no different,” he added.

“Our momentum collapsed twice through moments of our own doing. But I can’t for one second criticise the effort of the team and the idea to come here and play like this.”

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