Sean Dyche has made his views on diving clear on more than one occasion this season, but the Burnley boss has always drawn a line between what he sees as diving and what he sees as 'gamesmanship'.

If there is contact in the penalty area then making sure the referee knows about is very different to going down when you haven't been touched, or going looking for that contact - I'm looking at you, Jamie Vardy.

Burnley had offered little in the second half on Saturday until Sam Vokes stole the ball away from Jason Denayer, before Denayer seemed to clearly pull Vokes back as he tried to escape.

The tug forced the Wales striker wide and although his shot from a tight angle had plenty of power, beating Jordan Pickford from that position is a tough ask.

Had the second half substitute gone down when he was hauled back Bobby Madley would have been forced into a decision


The contrast between the belief and the confidence that Burnley have at Turf Moor compared to on the road was clear to see yesterday.

This was the type of game they have edged all season at Turf Moor, think Middlesbrough, Southampton and Leicester City just since Boxing Day. They've become used to coming out on top in the tight games and that gives you belief that the chance to win it is just around the corner.

It's a different story away from home. This felt like the type of game that had Sean Dyche's side already won away this season they'd have left the Stadium of Light with all three points.

Instead they don't have that winning feeling and the momentum and confidence it brings. Sunderland were there for the taking in the first half, with the home fans close to turning on their abject side, but the killer instinct wasn't there for the visitors.


Two years ago Burnley kept an impressive 10 clean sheets, but because they only scored 28 times it wasn't enough to save them. This season has all been about finding a balance.

The shutout in the north east was just the Clarets seventh this term, and they've already conceded 42 to the 53 they shipped two years ago, with nine games to go.

But crucially they already have three goals more than 2014/15 and it is the goals for column that has made such a difference this time around, and this was the first time since December 14 they hadn't scored in the league.

Of Burnley's seven Premier League wins in 14/15 five came thanks to a clean sheet and the other two when the opposition scored once. This time around Burnley have won four times when the opposition have scored, and twice when they've scored two.

Clean sheets such as this one are always welcome, but they're less important than they were two years ago.