SEAN Dyche insists he was not singling out Erik Pieters when replacing him at half-time against Sheffield United.

The Clarets were 3-0 down at Bramall Lane when the Dutchman made way for Charlie Taylor, the Burnley backline having been pulled apart by the rampant Blades.

Things did improve after the break with all the goals coming the first 45 minutes, but the job was done for hosts through a John Lundstram double and John Fleck’s goal.

“I could have changed anyone in the back four, I could have changed numerous people. It’s certainly not down to one change, nothing of the sort,” Dyche said.

“You also sometimes want to give the players chance to respond, and there was a response, a modicum of pride comes back.

“Ashley Barnes has a chance, and you never know, if he spins and hits that one in, it becomes that weirdness.

“But the big one for me, the third goal summed it up, a poor ball out, poor ball off, poor decision, and they go through the back and roll it in.

“Miles off when your brain’s not working, and it certainly wasn’t for the three goals.”

Much has been made of the system used by Chris Wilder, his central defenders regularly overlapping in a 3-5-2 formation.

But for Dyche is was all about the application, or lack of, from his side, and not whether they carried out a gameplan or not.

“It’s nothing to do with tactics,” the Clarets boss said.

“Second half we gave as good as we got I thought, we affected it a bit, at least there was a response, but it was nothing to do with tactics, we were just miles off where we’ve been.

“And miles off where we’ve been this season, to be fair, we had a similar half down at Brighton but got away with it when we were poor. But we were poor first half by our standards, and you can’t do that in the Premier League, no matter who you’re playing against.”