We have the mental toughness, says Burnley boss

First published in Football Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Burnley FC reporter

BURNLEY manager Sean Dyche believes his players are showing the mental toughness required to become a Championship force to be reckoned with.

Key refereeing decisions had proved costly for the Clarets in their previous two games, which resulted in defeats at Ipswich and at home to Charlton Athletic, after battling for 75 minutes with 10 men.

But Dyche was pleased to see his side put those disappointments behind them and return to winning ways.

Becoming the first team this season to leave the KC Stadium with a clean sheet was an added bonus for the Burnley boss, who has three wins and shut-outs from his first five games.

And he believes they are beginning to find the combination of silk and steel he is striving for.

“I thought the players were terrific in the first half. We found the balance that I'm searching for between defending well, from a good shape, and then playing free-flowing football when we could. Never more so than with the goal,” said Dyche.

“I thought it was tremendous.

“We opened them up a few times in the first half and the keeper made a wonderful save from Ross Wallace.

“The greedy man that I am I thought we probably deserved to go in more than one-up at half time.

“But the first half was as near as damn it what we're talking about – solid, organised, full of energy but also full of play, good quality football.

“In the second half, you've got to remember there are 11 others out there trying to stop you doing that.

“They threw caution to the wind, they were getting bodies forward, and it does become difficult to deal with.

“We nearly nicked one on the break which would have probably killed the game off, but overall I'm delighted with how they've delivered the performance and delighted that the fans who turned up have seen the team working many different ways to win a football match.”

He added: “It's a difficult place to come to, as any Championship club is. They're going really well and had scored in every game at home, won six out of eight, so to come here and win it's a very pleasing result, and there were a lot of things within the performance. Not just the quality of the play but the fighting spirit, the will and demand within the group to not concede and that's important over a Championship.”

Dyche was particularly pleased with the way David Edgar competed at right back after stepping in for Kieran Trippier, who served a one-match ban.

“It can be an awkward one,” the Burnley boss admitted.

“Hull set up 3-5-2 at first so the full back role can be good because you get lots of the ball but it can be the case that you're never quite sure whether you go tight or hold your position.

“I thought he did well overall with his decision making.

“You want players who can fill in. There's a respect within the group about that sort of thing.”

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