This was G-Day for Sean Dyche. After surgery, rehab and four games on the comeback trail Tom Heaton was back in the first-team picture.

But as the skipper probably expected Nick Pope is not for dislodging at the moment. He’s the man in possession and he’s the man in form and Heaton has his work cut out to get his place back.

Pope certainly did nothing wrong here. If he was feeling the pressure of the club’s long-time number one breathing down his neck he didn’t show it.

He may have been disappointed with the manner of Roberto Pereyra’s goal, but Pope did his best to deny him with some fine saves and as the aerial assault commenced late on he did what the defence would have wanted - he came for everything.


Burnley’s record this season is all the more remarkable for the injury list they have had to cope with at times.

Ben Mee is the latest to be back on the treatment table and it’s been a revolving door at the heart of the defence in recent months.

Part of that was down to James Tarkowski’s three-match ban for violent conduct over Christmas, but that duo have now started just seven of the last 17 games together, having previously started the first 15 Premier League games next to each other.

Having gone into the season short of numbers at centre back perhaps fate is conspiring to leave Sean Dyche sweating at times, but so far he’s kept two of his three regulars in that position fit and available, with Kevin Long seeing plenty of Premier League football this term and generally proving himself to be up to the task.


How will Burnley cope without Michael Keane and Andre Gray? That was the question many were asking on the eve of the season. Let’s rephrase it: How will Michael Keane and Andre Gray cope without Burnley?

The difficulties endured this season by the two players who starred for the Clarets last term before moving on to what they expected to be bigger and better things should be a warning for any others considering a Turf Moor exit.

Both have now suffered double defeat to their former club this term. Keane has had his well-documented troubles at Everton, but it’s Gray who is having a particularly tough time of it. This was the sixth time in a row he’d been an unused substitute for the Hornets, and his spell at the club could well end after just a year this summer.


How often have we seen teams who set their stall out by aiming for 40 points ease up once that target is achieved? West Brom last season are a case in point, and look at them now.

Burnley got to that mythical mark with the win over Everton at the start of March, but if anything they’ve moved up a couple of gears rather than down.

Three more wins have followed since and there’s clearly been no thought of easing up, of settling for improvement on last season, and perhaps dodging what many consider the bullet of the Europa League.


What an impact this was from Sam Vokes, scoring the fastest goal by a substitute this season, just 24 seconds after entering the pitch and with his first touch.

The game had been crying out for a Clarets change, with Sean Dyche moving Ashley Barnes wide and putting Vokes alongside Chris Wood.

It was a fine, cushioned finish from Vokes, who was scoring for Burnley for the first time since he made a similar impact off the bench, heading the winner at Southampton in November.