BURNLEY manager Sean Dyche has encouraged his players not to be disheartened by a first home Championship defeat this season.
Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Leicester City was the only time the Clarets have been beaten at Turf Moor in the league since March 11, 2013.
And Dyche feels that statistic is one of the main reasons why defeat to the league leaders should not undermine an impressive campaign.
Instead, with a nine-point advantage in second place to protect, the manager’s attentions have already turned to the chance to cement their position in the automatic promotion places when he returns to take on old club Watford this weekend.
“The group have great honesty because they looked disappointed after the game but I reminded them that it’s the first time we’ve been beaten at home in over a year. There are so many good things about what they're doing,” said Dyche.
“That’s the best team in the division, because the league tells me that’s the best team in the division. They were up two games ago so they’ve got that freedom where they just go and play because they know they’re up.
“It’s a great position to be in and they are at full strength so they have got a lot of things going for them.
“I reminded the lads that not everyone is as good as Leicester, not everyone is as good as them or has the depth of squad they have.
“I reminded them of all the good things they’re doing and we’ll continue to do those good things.
“The resilience, the honesty, the endeavour, the physicality, the shape of the team were all half decent. We didn’t penetrate as much as we’d like but if you’ve got 46 goals not on your pitch it’s difficult.”
Burnley were already without injured duo Kieran Trippier 25-goal top scorer Danny Ings, and suspended midfielder Dean Marney going into the game.
The Clarets then lost 21-goal striker Sam Vokes to a season-ending injury inside the first 10 minutes against Leicester.
Dyche added: “It was a challenge anyway. I thought Barnesy (Ashley Barnes) was excellent, I must say, and he has been since he got his chance, but if one of your main men goes down early it makes it an even bigger challenge.”
Dyche admitted it felt strange talking about a home defeat, but he remained philosophical.
“I haven’t sat here in a long time and spoken about what didn’t go our way,” he added.
“It happens and it is tremendous what the players are achieving in general, but we’re hungry and thirsty for more. It’s as simple as that.
“This is just a reminder of the toughness of the division but it is against the best side in the division, so it’s not doom and gloom when the best side in the division beat you, particularly if you’ve got a few challenges with your players’ availability.”