Clarets boss Sean Dyche was delighted to bow out of the Premier League on a high with a 1-0 win at FA Cup finalists Aston Villa.
Danny Ings netted the only goal with a glancing header after only six minutes, on what is expected to be his final appearance in a Burnley shirt, while Tom Heaton, fresh from a first England call up, kept a third successive clean sheet - his 10th of the season.
Villa enjoyed a lot of possession and territory in the second half, but could find no way through a well-organised back line, and Dyche said: “I think it’s not just the result, it’s the mentality we’ve instilled in the group over a couple of years, in how they operate, the quality at the beginning of the game...they obviously got back in the game second half and dominated the ball, without opening us up too many times - Tom had a couple of saves to make - but the first 20 minutes I thought we were excellent.
“The game should have been done, Ingsy had a great second chance and at 2-0, we’re quite solid when we’re in front in games.
“Then we had to make sure we defended very well, and credit to Villa, they kept coming, but overall I was very pleased.
“It became a tactical scenario for us, seeing the game out, which we did very well.”
“10 clean sheets and the goals against column is pretty reasonable in a Premier League seasonSean Dyche
The meanest defence in the Championship last season has fared well in the top flight, and he added: “10 clean sheets and Tom’s got a call up, which is fantastic.
“I’ve said many times about the margins, and we are an example of that.
“10 clean sheets and the goals against column is pretty reasonable in a Premier League season.
“Goals for is the secret to it, we’ve created chances but not had the clarity to take the key moments.
“There’s a frustration within that, but, of course, behind all that, on reflection I’ve been very proud of the players and how they’ve gone about it, and how the club have gone about it.”
Fredrik Ulvestad got a full debut in central midfield, and Dyche was happy with the Norwegian’s performance before fading and coming off around the hour: “Great to see him out there, we’ve been close to getting him out on the pitch. He got a taste last week, we thought it was the right time to try him.
“He’s developed well in training, getting used to the tempo. He tired a bit, but I thought he did well.
“It’s a big ask jumping from his level of football in Norway to that.”
While it was a bow for Ulvestad, Steven Reid brought his playing career to an end with a late appearance as a substitute: “I believe he was crying, I have to catch my breath! I’ve already ripped him, told him not to be ridiculous!
“Onwards and upwards.”
Burnley will need to check on Ashley Barnes’ knee, after he was forced off in the first half after a challenge from Fabian Delph, and Dyche explained: “We’re not sure yet, obviously it’s a bit too early. But he’s a tough lad, so to come off, I’m hopeful it’s nothing too serious, but we’ll find out on Monday.”