Dyche blasts Reading gamesmanship

Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche

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Clarets boss Sean Dyche was unhappy with Reading's gamesmanship after Burnley were held to a goalless draw at the Madejski Stadium, with Andre Gray having a penalty saved.

Just before the hour, Gray latched onto a pass from Scott Arfield and appeared to be brought down by Ali Al-Habsi.Reading were incensed by the decision, and the spot kick was held up, as Hal Robson-Kanu scuffed the spot, with Gray ready to take.

The Wales international was booked, but Al-Habsi was allowed to further delay the kick, coming off his line to crank the pressure up on Gray.

The former Wigan keeper eventually saved the penalty - it wasn't Gray's day as the record signing also squandered glaring opportunities in either half.

Dyche said: "If a player goes down, everyone calls them a cheat these days, that's standard, I don't worry about that. I haven't seen it back, my hunch is he got caught, if he didn't, the intent to catch him is there, though I don't know that for a fact.

"I did see their player dig the spot up, and I would certainly hope my players never - I've never seen that in my career and I hope my players never conduct themselves in that manner.

"I also saw the keeper come off his line before he hit it, and I thought the rules had changed on that - you have to stay on your line.

"But, that being said, you put a fair chance on him scoring. The rest of it is gamesmanship, I just know I wouldn't expect my players to move the ball off the spot when someone is ready to take a penalty, and then kick the floor up. I think that's really poor."

He added: "I thought the referee handled most of the game very well, but that moment - I would be very surprised if their players think that is appropriate.

"Andre struck it well enough, but the keeper is off his line, I remember thinking he was a long way off his line, suggesting he'd moved before he even took it.

"I'll look at it again, but that is my instant thought on it.

"Teams have different ways of trying to get a win, I don't think it was pre-designed. Players can have a word with the ref, but I wouldn't expect my players to try and dig the spot up, with the ball on it. I find that bizarre behaviour, and unacceptable in the modern game."

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