BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche has urged his players to develop a big game mentality as they bid to end a six-match winless run – insisting they must learn to perform in important matches.
The Clarets could have made strides on many of their rivals when they hosted Huddersfield in their game in hand on Tuesday night but were beaten 1-0 to drop to 13th in the Championship table.
That has left them eight points behind the play-off spots with only 12 games left, having been in contention for a top six spot before their recent blip.
Burnley return to action at Charlton on Saturday and Dyche has stressed that his side must improve if they have ambitions of making progress in the years to come.
“It’s time for everyone to look at themselves,” he said.
“We need to now take responsibility for sure, because we want to be productive and positive and grow as a team, which we were doing and we have done overall.
“But nights like Tuesday leave a real bad taste in my mouth as manager, and I’m sure the players.
“It was a big game for us and maybe that’s something we have to look at with the players because in the big games we need them to stand up.
“They didn’t and that was a big challenge for us, to re-ignite that little spell and get ourselves into a position to keep challenging."
“When you’re winning you’ve got to look at yourself. You’ve got to reflect on the good times and the not so good times and you've got to make sense of it all.
“There’s as much responsibility comes with winning as with losing.”
Dyche, though, feels he can learn a lot about his players from the poor performance against Huddersfield.
As well as wanting results this season, the Clarets boss is also assessing his squad as he looks to plan for the summer.
“Sometimes out of the madness of a performance comes clarity,” he said.
“So I think for the players and myself, it does show some clarity of what we’re about as a team, where we need to strengthen, what we need to change.
“At the moment we’re going to have to do it probably in-house but we will be looking into the market for sure because eventually you have to affect it.”
Dyche now hopes to see a response against Charlton, who are one point behind Burnley in the table.
“The madness of football is you can come out of a poor performance and a poor result and then spring into a win,” he said.
“That’s just how football works sometimes, but that’s what our aim will be to do of course.
“We’re on the crazy end of an awkward run at the moment, we’ve got to work to change that.
“It was a very poor performance (on Tuesday), well below par for what we expect from this group of players – unacceptable.
“I have spoken to the players and asked them about it. We won four out of five and were flying and then we’ve had an awkward run.
“Performances haven’t been too bad, particularly in the last two games, but then Tuesday was just a very poor performance.
“There was no lack of effort, but it was misguided effort. We talk about working hard but we talk about working smart and we didn’t work smart.
“They know they have to come out fighting and give more on Saturday.”