We know the bigger picture
Burnley went out of the FA Cup against Manchester City today, beaten 5-0 as talk continues about City’s chances of winning four trophies.
Manager Pep Guardiola is always quick to play that one down but he was pleased with their performance today and said afterwards: “I am really pleased for the commitment. Especially will all the games in our legs and minds. Of course, we have to improve a few things but we made good movements and I’m satisfied to be in the next round and the draw on Monday.”
“Winning eight games in a row this month has been could. I could say it’s because we played against lower league sides but it’s what we have to do. Everyone has played and we want to arrive in the last stages of the FA Cup and Champions League, and fight to the end in the Premier League and Carabao Cup. It’s the only way I understand.”
Sean Dyche shuffled his pack again. He said he would beforehand and admitted that this game was all about getting minutes for some of the players, particularly those coming back from injury.
Before explaining that again after the game, he first had words for his youngest player Dwight McNeil who again played the full ninety minutes. “We’ve been patching a side up for five or six games now and the lads have been terrific,” Dyche said. “We certainly didn’t come here today for that to happen, but within all that we’ve a young man in Dwight McNeil who, I am telling you, was first class again today.
“No matter what is going on in the game, he wants it, wants to help his team mates deliver and he puts doubts into the opposition. I said to him after to keep enjoying his football, because he is on a nice upwards curve and I have great admiration for him. He’s 19 and going around all these Premier League grounds and showing that nice edge of borderline confidence and arrogance. Not as a person, because he’s a very unassuming, but on the pitch you want him to come to life and I am really enjoying watching him at the moment.”
Explaining his team selection, the manager said: “We patched a team together today, once again, so I am not too disgruntled with it. The challenge today was looking at who we can protect. We’ve been on a run of five very, very good performances and we had to protect the situation today and get some minutes into the players who were coming back from injury, such as Ward and Defour.
“We’ve two right backs down, and we lost Robbie at half time to a groin injury, when we know we’ve been working to try and get wide men fit, so there’s a lot going on and at the minute we know the bigger picture and the bigger fight, and that is the Premier League.
“It’s tough to come here with all that, but they are the brutal facts and to be honest, today was more about them, and I saw elite players doing what elite players do. They picked an elite team and brought on elite substitutes and sometimes, when they are as potent and clinical as they were today, you have to hold your hands up.
“I’ve checked all the goals back and they mostly come from us and the mistakes we made, particularly in the second half, were punished pretty much every time.”
We did have one golden opportunity early in the second half with the score at 1-0. It fell to Matěj Vydra who fired wide. ” Matěj’s chance is pivotal, not just in terms of the scoreline, but the feeling inside the stadium, Dyche said. It suddenly feels a bit weird for them if he scores and that can affect the game.
“You know you aren’t going to get many chances against these, and I’m not remotely saying we’d have gone on to win the game, but you never know because that changes the energy in the respective sides, and not long after they get a second and it’s tough from there. But as I say I am not going to over think this one. It gets parked very quickly because we have bigger fights ahead.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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