Share this page :

It was a point apiece for Southampton and Burnley in the opening league game of the season and it was a game that both managers felt their respective teams potentially deserved to win the game.

Mark Hughes, if he was being honest, should know his team were second best for well over an hour of the game. He accepted that we’d been the better of the sides in the first half but said: “I think we steadily improved and in the second half I made a change because I felt we weren’t able to get any pressure on the ball to stop them playing into the channels.

Embed from Getty Images
“We needed to gain control of the game so we changed the personnel and the shape as well which helped us. We were able to get up the pitch and controlled the second half. We created a number of chances and on another day I think we did enough to win the game.”

Of that first period, he said: “In the first half, we didn’t start with the intensity I’d hoped because you’ve got to impose what you want to do on the opposition. Credit to Burnley, I think it showed they’re ahead of us in terms of competitive action so they probably had a little bit more speed than us in the opening period.

“I think we got better as the game went on and in the end I think they were trying to run the clock down and get the draw, whereas we were trying to win the game.”

Sean Dyche was certainly happy with the way we played. “I was certainly pleased to come here and dominate for periods of the game away from home,” he said.”Result wise, it was a winning draw, as one of my old managers used to say. Also, in competitive games recently, we’ve had three of the last four away from home and all the demands, mentally and physically, that come with that.

“This has always, historically, been a tough place to come and I thought we dominated good spells of the game. I was delighted with the application and attitude and when they came into it, we defended resolutely and did the job we had to do, to get a well deserved point.

“We’ve done enough today to come away with a victory. Their keeper has made two very good saves and at the other end top players don’t allow a keeper to make a save and we continue to mature into that, so there were so many good things today.”

Joe Hart made his league debut for Burnley but it was a tough decision as Dyche explained: “Tom has only trained four or five days in the last three weeks and it was a tough thing to explain to him because of his desire to play. He is a top goalkeeper, but  I didn’t think that was enough football and it’s a big decision.

“Joe has done well again today and earned another clean sheet behind a back four who have done well. Tom has been brilliant for me, so many times over a long period, but those decisions are my job and you want that demand.

“I mentioned before the window that we want people who are battling to play, not those where there are big gaps and some who are more starters than others. You want that real demand and it’s there with the keepers, as with the outfield players.”

So onto Thursday and the Europa League. “There’s every chance we’ll change things again on Thursday,” he said. “I’ve said all along that the Europa League is a badge of honour for a club like ours. We have to remind ourselves that the Premier League is what we are about and that remains our biggest challenge.”

Follow UpTheClarets:

Share this page :