Dyche explains why Burnley draw with Brighton was a ‘headscratcher’

Date published: Saturday 6th February 2021 7:42 - Samuel Bannister

Sean Dyche was left scratching his head after Burnley were unable to claim all three points against Brighton.

But the Clarets boss was delighted with his side’s performance in the 1-1 draw at a sodden Turf Moor.

The hosts fell behind in the pouring rain in the 36th minute when an unchallenged Lewis Dunk headed home, despite the presence at the back post of Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who got himself in a tangle and was unable to clear.

Burnley came into this fixture as the Premier League’s lowest scorers and without a goal in defeats against Chelsea and Manchester City. But they showed more purpose after the interval and levelled through Gudmundsson.

Former Brighton striker Ashley Barnes had a goal chalked off for offside shortly after the equaliser, while Seagulls goalkeeper Robert Sanchez made several important interventions to ensure the spoils were shared.

“I didn’t think there was too much in it in the first half even though we were 1-0 down,” Dyche said. “We had a decent handle in the game, it was just the front third, we didn’t find that conviction that counts.

“I thought the energy was good, the commitment to the performance, but just a bit more belief to our play in the final third.

“But I thought in the second half we were outstanding.

“I don’t want to cry because there’s other games you get something from and maybe you could argue you don’t deserve it. But here I thought it was a headscratcher that we didn’t get all three points with the performance like that.

“It’s not always how many chances you create, it’s the quality but I think there was both. We kept using the ball better, kept asking so many questions. So I’m very pleased with the performance.

“I’m only a tiny bit frustrated that we don’t get all three because it’s a very pleasing performance from the players.”

Any blame attached to Gudmundsson for Brighton’s opener was forgiven by Dyche as the Iceland winger scored his first goal since August 2019 with a fine strike after Sanchez could only parry Dwight McNeil’s fizzing effort.

“I think he just drifts off the post slightly and it goes past him,” Dyche added. “In the second half he was outstanding and he scores a goal, it just had that conviction.

“In the second half the conviction in our attacking play, Johann’s was a version of that. The big moments for us didn’t quite go our way but I’m very pleased overall.”

Potter taking positives

Brighton had been chasing a third successive win in the space of seven days after surprisingly seeing off Tottenham at the Amex Stadium last Sunday and then stunning Liverpool at Anfield in midweek.

But a draw was met with no complaints from head coach Graham Potter, who said: “It’s been an excellent week with seven points from nine, with two matches away at Liverpool and Burnley.

“Burnley put us under an incredible amount of pressure in the second half. Lesser teams would have gone under but we didn’t. We got a point and we’re delighted.”

One drawback to an uplifting week for Brighton was an injury to Solly March, who went off midway through the second half at Liverpool on Wednesday. He faces around 12 weeks on the sidelines as he is set for knee surgery.

“It’s disappointing news for him and for us,” Potter added. “He’s been really consistent for us this year, a good performer for us, so it’s a blow.”

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