Dyche rues lack of cutting edge as Clarets crash out of Carabao Cup
Sean Dyche declared that the Clarets need to be more clinical in front of goal following a profligate start to the season.
Despite looking like they’d turned a corner with a record Premier League win against AFC Bournemouth at the weekend, Burnley reverted back to their sterile ways in the Carabao Cup.
The visitors were wasteful against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium, just as they had been in games against Southampton and Watford in the top flight.
“It was a strange kind of game,” said Dyche. “We created enough to win a game tonight but didn’t and that’s happened too many times this season already.
“In the second half we’ve worked the keeper and hit the post but you’ve got to be clinical and we weren’t.
“We prepared right, the players were in good form, there was a good feeling. We made changes but they’re good players.
“I don’t want to be too critical in the sense of the performance because if you took the goals out of it then you’d think we were a good side on that showing with real quality at times. But you’ve got to add goals to it because that’s the name of the game.
“On Saturday we took all our chances, we were very clinical, so it’s there but we’ve got to do it more often than what we’re doing it at the moment.”
But, as Dyche pointed out, the mindset of the players also proved detrimental as the Brewers snatched it late on, netting half of their total shots on target.
The Clarets, who suffered their fourth defeat in their past five matches against teams in League One or lower in domestic cups, have now lost six of their last seven ties in the competition.
“It’s something that we wanted to correct,” said the Burnley boss. “We’re aware that in the cup competitions we haven’t done as well.
“It must be a mindset with the players as it’s certainly not quality. People have to take responsibility for that.
“This competition is the only one left to do well in during my time at Burnley and it’s something we wanted to correct.”
He added: “You need that ability to stay switched on in a game like this because it doesn’t have the same feeling as a Premier League game.
“Part of being big players is to perform regardless. We all know the story of the cup, it’s a strange phenomenon.
“It’s a strange mentality from the players when they don’t quite find that same feeling as they do for a Premier League game. That happens to sides that are bigger than us as well.”
Kevin Long had given the away side the lead with five minutes remaining in the first half, towering above his marker to head Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s corner home.
The Republic of Ireland international had earlier had an effort chalked off when the linesman’s flag was raised from Steven Defour’s pass.
The former Belgium international midfielder, making his long-awaited return, also assisted Chris Wood during the first half but, again, the striker was adjudged to have mistimed his run before slotting past Dimitar Evtimov.
How the visitors managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory from this position is anybody’s guess.
They were in complete control but somehow managed to concede twice. After Gudmundsson forced a low save from Evtimov, Nigel Clough’s men triggered the turnaround.
As Dwight McNeil failed to clear his lines, Liam Boyce collected the ball on the right hand side of the penalty area before drilling the ball past Tom Heaton at his near post. The Burnley captain got a hand to the strike but a deflection off Ashley Westwood proved damaging.
Ashley Barnes, introduced as a substitute at the expense of Matej Vydra, made an immediate impact when beating Evtimov with a right-footed strike only to see his attempt cannon back off the inside of the post.
The forward then turned provider, cushioning Gudmundsson’s cross in to the path of Westwood but the midfielder lifted the ball over the crossbar acrobatically.
Then it was Wood’s turn. The striker, who had turned McNeil’s cross wide of the upright in the first half, peeled off John Brayford’s shoulder to collect the ball in the box and get a shot away only for Evtimov to repel the ball.
And they would eventually be made to pay. With seven minutes of normal time remaining Boyce slipped the ball in to Jamie Allen who poked the ball past Heaton.
From that point the Clarets didn’t look like getting back in to the game.
Instead it was the Brewers who went close to extending their lead. Boyce fired the ball across the face of goal from the left hand side and Jake Hesketh turned the ball against the woodwork from close range.