Honesty not always best policy - Sean Dyche
Burnley boss Sean Dyche felt that midfielder Joey Barton was too honest in the build up to Manchester United's opening goal at Turf Moor.
The 34-year-old, who is expected to hear the outcome of his FA charges in relation to betting offences imminently, got himself tied up in a foot race with goalscorer Anthony Martial rather than committing a tactical challenge to halt the Frenchman’s counter.
The former Monaco forward out-paced Barton midway through the first half before swapping passes with Ander Herrera and slotting the ball past Tom Heaton.
“We went about the game in the right manner,” said Dyche. “The first was a really poor goal. Joey knows the game and it’s the unfortunate side of the game but he should make a foul and that kills the move. If that move continues with sides of this quality they can hurt you as they did.
“I wouldn’t say it was a no-brainer, because you want your players to play in the right manner as best they can, but with his experience, usually, he would make the foul.
“It’s his honesty because he’s running shoulder to shoulder with him and I think he generally thought he could get a foot in, but by the time he probably could’ve he’s released the ball and continued the run.”
Martial was also instrumental in the away side’s second as his strike squirmed beneath Heaton to leave Wayne Rooney with the opportunity to finish.
“The second one is frustrating,” Dyche said. “We dealt with it in the initial spell but then there’s a mix-up. It’s very rare he would sneak under Tom Heaton and then sneak under Keano and hit him on the inside of his foot.
“It was a bit of a lucky break but once these teams get one up, never mind two up, it’s really difficult. I was pleased with the mentality after that though, to continue to try and force an opening.”
United’s 23rd game unbeaten ultimately stretched Burnley’s sequence of form to just one win in 11 fixtures across the board.
However, Dyche sprinkled some perspective on the situation when highlighting that the Clarets have faced five of the Premier League’s top six during that time.
Having watched his side fail to register a shot on target against United, he said: “The fact is you’re playing the top end. We’ve had seven out of 11 games away and within that 11 we’ve played five out of the top six.
“On paper it looked like a tough run and it was always going to be, especially with the form Everton are in at there place and then Manchester United were 22 unbeaten before today.
“We’ve cheated the system a few times in what people think of a game, but you can’t do all the time. We’ve done it well here, we’ve played some teams who are well fancied here and taken 10 Premier League wins.
“We’re not over-thinking it but they’re a top side, even with the chances.”
With four games remaining to seal the club’s survival in the top flight, Dyche added: “I’ve said many times, away form, home form, it all goes out of the window in the Premier League because it’s just points on the board when you’re us.
“When you look at the points on the board now and historically with our last two efforts we’re in good shape, against all the odds, no-one gave us any chance at all.”