'What difference does it make?': Dyche reveals team-talk which inspired first ever comeback win

In the 60 previous Premier League games during which they had trailed under Sean Dyche, Burnley had never picked up three points.

Image: Gareth Copley

A GLEEFUL SEAN Dyche credited his side’s mental toughness after Burnley achieved their first Premier League comeback win under his tutelage with a 2-1 victory over Everton at Turf Moor.

Burnley were without a win in their previous 12 games but recovered from a 1-0 deficit through goals by joint-top scorers (6) Ashley Barnes and substitute Chris Wood – the latter a substitute back from injury – to move within five points of Arsenal in seventh place, albeit having played a game more.

Dyche’s Clarets had previously never recovered from a goal down to win a Premier League game during his tenure: per Opta, Burnley had previously trailed during 60 games, drawing 12 and winning none. They broke that duck today.

“It’s tough when you’re on a run like this”, Dyche told Sky Sports post-game, “and we’ve probably deserved better – in certain games – during this run, and we haven’t got it – including last week against Southampton when I thought we did enough.

“And so going into this game the idea was to bring, or hopefully bring, that freedom into our performance. And we went one down, but I didn’t think it knocked us too badly. Maybe for the first two or three minutes after.”

Game-winner Chris Wood replaced Ireland international Jeff Hendrick at half-time, with Dyche revealing the change was purely tactical, praising Hendrick for ‘doing a good job for us’ both today and since his arrival from Derby in 2016.

The Burnley boss also shed some light on his rather cavalier team talk at half-time, during which he informed his players that they had little to lose in their pursuit of a first Premier-League turnaround victory.

“To be honest, [I told them to] maintain the freedom that we had in the first half, add slightly – very slightly – to the energy, and get on the front foot that little bit more,” said Dyche.

And the biggest one of all, you know, we haven’t turned a 1-0 deficit around, and I said to them: ‘You’ve got the freedom, because everyone expects you to not turn it around. So,’ I said, ‘What difference does it make? The worst thing that can happen is that they win and everyone says, ‘Well, you can’t turn a result around’, whereas if we win, everyone says: ‘Well, you can now.’

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“So that was part of the message.

“People often remind you of those stats, as you know, but no, it’s better for the team. They’ve been close so many times to turning deficits into winning performances or margins, and it hasn’t always gone our way. Today it did, but we deserved it today. There was no luck involved – we actually worked for it and deserved it.”

Burnley have now reached the magical 40-point mark with nine games to spare, but despite their horrendous run prior to today’s win, remain in the top six.

Dyche voiced his gratitude that, even during their recent poor form, the public thought better than to turn on his charges.

“I think most people have been fair, though, with that, because we’ve had a tough run, but most people have still said: ‘Hang on a minute, Burnley are still up there, and they’ve had a great season’ – overall, of course.

“Now we’re on 40. It took us a whole season to get that last year, now we’ve got it with nine to go, so I think that’s a real marker of how far we’ve come in a short – relatively short – space of time.”

Burnley’s first win in 13 gives Everton the blues and moves Clarets to within 5 points of Arsenal

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