'You couldn't it make up!' - Dyche on Barton winner

Even Sean Dyche was almost speechless after Joey Barton wrote an unbelievable script, scoring a late winner against Southampton.

Saturday, 14th January 2017, 6:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 14th January 2017, 8:21 pm
Sean Dyche

In his first Premier League outing in 601 days, Barton netted a free kick with only his third touch, as Burnley climbed to 10th in the table with a sixth home win in seven games.

Barton made his second debut for the club in the FA Cup at Sunderland last Saturday, after a difficult time with Rangers.

But last season's player of the year has slotted straight back into life at Turf Moor, and Dyche smiled: "You can't make it up. I just said to him I couldn’t write your story.

Sean Dyche

"Sublime finish, of course, he'll be telling everyone that anyway.

"We probably earned a scratch of luck today."

Asked what he can bring to the side, Dyche added: "We'll see. He's just come on today and played at Sunderland.

"He's experienced of course, there's a manliness to the way he goes about his performance and there's an assuredness from many years of playing top-level football around many clubs.

Sean Dyche

"For all he gets a bit of stick, he's so used to that, he brushes it off and gets on with it and focuses on his football.

"I felt it was appropriate for him to come back in to us. I've had no question marks about him before and I didn't see why I would again. So far, he's slotted in nicely again."

Barton is now 24 league games unbeaten with Burnley, after the 23-game run which led to the Championship title.

A role as a substitute is an unfamiliar one however, and Dyche joked: "He said what do I do? He was confused by being sub.

"He said 'do I take my boots out with me, wear a t-shirt or wear a warm-up top or what?

"I said, 'oi, you get on with it!' There was another word in there but you can imagine the sort of rapport built out of that moment."

Burnley again found a way to win a tight game at home, and Dyche said: "Credit to Southampton, they were looking to build off the back of a very good result, plenty of energy and looked to get about us.

"We stayed resolute. They have got good technical players.

"As the game went on, I was super pleased with my players. You always fancy us to make a chance and we are good at seeing games out.

"It was a hard-fought game. To take a win today is not only important but very good."