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Burnley boss Dyche hails ‘winning draw’ at Southampton in Premier League opener

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Sean Dyche admitted it felt like a “winning draw” after a goalless Premier League opener at Southampton.

On the back of their 0-0 draw at Istanbul Başakşehir on Thursday night, the Clarets dominated long spells of the game at St Mary’s, as they picked up their first point of the season.

Sean Dyche

Sean Dyche

Jack Cork had a first half goal harshly chalked off for off-side, despite looking level, while Aaron Lennon, Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Jeff Hendrick all had excellent chances.

Southampton improved in the second half after switching to 4-4-2, but Dyche felt Burnley saw the game out well and said: “Certainly pleased with the performance, to come down and dominate for periods of the game isn’t easy in any Premier League game away from home, or at home for that matter.

“And I thought there were some really good passages of play. Result-wise, it’s a clean sheet.

“One of my managers John Duncan used to say ‘it’s a winning draw’.

“There were a lot of pleasing things, a bit of noise about whether they will be fit enough, but I thought that was outstanding.

“The work ethic, the desire, the will, and a good mixed bag - some very good football, controlled football, opened them up, caused trouble, keeper’s made two good saves.

“The last 20 minutes they changed shape, maybe by default, maybe they’d been planning it, I don’t know, but they came back into it.

“It’s very difficult to dominate a whole game in the Premier League and often teams have a spell.

“We’ve done that against the super powers. And they did have a spell, and then the other side of our performance was resolute, good shape, good energy, demand to make sure we came away with a clean sheet and a point.”

Talking about Cork’s disallowed effort, he admitted: “It’s tight, I’ve only seen it from a computer screen, I don’t know what VAR would make of it, and I’m a big fan of it, but it was tight.

“With his body language, he’s facing the wrong way, etc, one foot is onside, the other maybe not, I don’t know.

“I’m not crying it in, you just hope over a season we get one back.

“Possible penalty (on Gudmundsson), crying it in a bit, but if that challenge is in the middle of the pitch, it’s interesting, the referee probably gives a foul.

“But, is one my defenders putting a foot in there in a goalscoring opportunity.

“That was a marginal one.”

Joe Hart collected a second successive clean sheet, although he wasn’t overworked, and Dyche said: “He’s a very experienced keeper and he’s been bought in for a reason to challenge Tom, firstly, because of the injury to Popey, and now Anders.

“I don’t think he touched the ball until the 16th minute, so that’s a pretty good sign of how we played.

“But he has to keep his mentality, his focus, and he did, and when called upon, safe hands, and a mature performance.

“But he’s a top keeper, simple as that, and I’m very fortunate to have top keepers and top people.”

He also had a word for the supporters, who again backed their team in numbers and noise, many of whom would have been in Istanbul: “What we sometimes forget is the fan side of football, amazing. There is probably a more earthy connection with the Burnley fans, team and the club because of the nature of it, but, to have 600 out there and then a certain number down here, fantastic.

“The away fans have been brilliant since I’ve been here. I always used to go and watch my local team, Kettering Town, but when you’re travelling away, that’s a whole different ball game, it’s expensive, time consuming, and takes total commitment, so admirable for sure