We weren’t a million miles away today
Burnley were beaten 3-1 by Crystal Palace and it was a performance from the visitors that pleased their manager Roy Hodgson as he saw them move three points clear of us in the table.
Hodgson said: “I’m very pleased with the win, very satisfying performance. It’s never easy to come and win at Burnley, especially with Burnley in good form at this moment in time. We knew the type of problems they would pose and they did pose those problems. I thought we dealt with them extremely well.
“I was very pleased with the way we defended throughout the game. And of course at the other end when we were able to get hold of the ball, I thought we used it wisely and scored three good goals and were it not for Tom Heaton making a few good saves, we could have had another one.
“He promised me some time ago that he would score at least five goals before the end of the season and this was about two or three weeks ago. I think he’s already got those five so we’re going to up that total, we’re going to double it: we’re going to get 10. He’s certainly doing what he needs to do and the same goes for Michy Batshuayi.
“His second goal was an excellent one and it was maybe as many as half a dozen moves towards the end of the game where, had we been able to finish it off, he would have been up there with Goal of the Season contendership.
“Confidence comes from winning, we never lacked confidence even when we weren’t winning either at home or away and we weren’t necessarily getting the number of points we thought our performance merited. We never lost confidence really. We always believed in ourselves as a team.
“We always thought that we were good defensively and that we had a lot of qualities going forward. But of course you need a lot of victories and a lot of points behind you to really get that feel good feeling and to get the confidence that lifting yourself up the table that a good points tally gives you.
“But strangely enough, people often mention our away form but some of our best performances in my opinion have actually been at home and sometimes they’ve been in games where we haven’t actually won.
“That’s the strange thing about it but the big thing was we’ve scored goals in these recent weeks whereas there was a time in the beginning where we were doing everything right but weren’t putting it in the back of the net and now we are.”
Despite the defeat, a second this week, Sean Dyche didn’t think the performance was too far away from the level we’ve reached recently.
“I thought clinical finishing was ultimately the difference,” he said. I think I’m right in saying their away record is better than their home and you can see why. They came with a ‘defend to counter’ game and that’s good thinking from them because they have good players on turnover and pace in transition. They used that wisely, but it’s a strange one from our point of view because statistically we’ve done well today.
“It’s a strong performance with 18 efforts at goal, lots of the ball and numerous crossing attempts, but those final moments are the key. They found them and credit to them for that. We didn’t and we had enough of them.
“In the first half I felt we dominated the feel of the game and knocked on their door. They go and get a ricochet goal and I was actually quite happy at half time because there wasn’t a lot wrong. It was just the tiny details and as we all know they are so important. In the second half they get an early second goal and then it’s hard work and that means we have to then open up.”
He added: “The credit I’ll give my players is they kept going. Barnesy nicks himself a goal and Crouchy makes their keeper make a save. We never lost sight of the challenge and kept going and going. That’s served us well and it will have to for the rest of the season.
“A lot will be made of two defeats, but I treat this week as a reality of the Premier League. We’ve not been far off today with the performance, but if you add those two defeats into the last 10 games, that’s 18 points. We have to earn everything and that’s not a bad return, so we just need to tighten up on the details because we weren’t a million miles away today.”
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