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Some of the media had built up yesterday’s game as a grudge between the two managers following one or two comments last season, but it was Burnley boss Sean Dyche who came out on top against Aitor Karanka as the Clarets took the points with a 1-0 win against Middlesbrough.

Karanka, who saw his side drop back below the Clarets, said they would take the positives from the game. “It’s always tough when you lose to a direct opponent in the table,” he said. “It’s frustrating because I think we were better than them.

“We had the chances, especially in the first half, and I think we had the game under control. In the second half we had more chances from corners and set pieces. We can keep the positives from our performance.

“This kind of game doesn’t come around very often and we have missed an opportunity to add points on the table. We have to learn from this game once again, but now we think about the future, and Manchester United at the end of the week.”

Dyche saw his side win it with a goal in the 80th minute from Andre Gray. “All credit to Andre because he didn’t get too much today, but he sticks in there and when one came along he took it,” he said.

The win took our points total to 20 and he added: “The main thing is you have to continue to get points on the board. I’ve spoken on many, many occasions about finding a way to win because that’s a really important part of what you do, for my staff and the players. We have done that many times and we’ve done it again today, so I am really pleased.

“It was a hard fought three points. It was tough for both sides in terms of the conditions, and against a side that have done well on the road this year. They defend in big numbers and are difficult to break down sometimes, but we showed strong signs of it in the first half, when their keeper made a couple of big saves.

“The second half was more of a ding-dong affair, but we went and got ourselves a really good goal from our point of view.

“There are still big challenges ahead of us and we know we need to improve the away form, but overall, at home, we’ve given our fans a lot to cheer about in the last calendar year, for many different reasons.

“From when I came here four years ago, it doesn’t half have a nice ring to it that we have strong home form in the Premier League. I think most fans would take that.”

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