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It was Burnley’s night at Bournemouth last night as current manager took on his predecessor with the Clarets winning the game 2-1.

It was Eddie Howe’s decision to leave Burnley for a return to Bournemouth in October 2012 that opened the door for Sean Dyche at Turf moor and it was a disappointing night for the former boss on his 40th birthday.

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“It’s a tough one to take in terms of our performance,” Howe said. “I’m very disappointed in how we played, but credit to them, they played very well and nullified our threats. We were below par with the ball tonight and didn’t deliver. You have to give Burnley credit, they did very well.

“We never got our rhythm and we didn’t open up the pitch. I thought we played in tighter areas tonight and I think the technical side of the game was where we didn’t deliver.”

Speaking about Burnley, his former club, he added: “I think they’ve improved, I see the confidence that they’re playing with. They have players that can hurt you and they defended very well tonight.

“The two centre backs and keeper were strong and you don’t want to go behind to a team like Burnley. They protect their lead well and I think they have good unity too.

“Chris Wood was a threat and almost too involved. You expect us to deal with him better and, ultimately, the two goal gap was too big to come back from.

“The last twenty minutes was our best period. The players that came on did very well. Lewis Cook gave us a big lift and Ryan Fraser and Jermain Defoe played their part too. When we scored, you thought we could turn the screw, we had the ball in the last twenty minutes. The positive was certainly the way we finished.”

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Clarets’ boss Sean Dyche apologised to Howe for spoiling his birthday but told the Burnley fans to enjoy what they are seeing right now. “It’s a fantastic night and I must mention the fans,” he said.

“Not just because of the result, because of course they enjoyed that, but to bring so many down here on a Wednesday night and get behind the team singing all the way through, was tremendous. They are enjoying it and the moment and they should be. Times like this are to be enjoyed.”

He added: “My job though is to remain level headed and I’ll never go away from that. I thought the boys delivered a fine performance again off the back of a disappointment, albeit a good performance against Arsenal on Sunday. To step on again tonight was a marker and I thought we were excellent, particularly in the first half.

“We were well worthy of going in front and then we saw the game out. In the second half we thought they might throw caution a little bit, but we defended very well and it’s a 95 minute job. We scored a fine second goal and the professionalism kicked in to get the job done and I’m so pleased on all counts.”

Ashley Barnes missed out last night’ Chris Wood came back in after missing a number of recent games and the manager said of that: “It was a tough decision because Ashley has been terrific, but don’t forget Chris was unlucky to be left out too. It was my decision because of fatigue, but all the strikers are chomping now.

“Sam came on recently and got a big winner for us at Southampton and Nahki is breathing down their necks and Jon Walters is coming back. It’s a healthy area at the moment and that’s important for us.”

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