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Defensive game plan is reality tactics, says Burnley boss Dyche

By December 21, 2018No Comments

Burnley manager Sean Dyche is unrepentant about the defensive mindset his side adopted at Tottenham last week, labelling the approach “reality tactics”.

The Clarets had just 30 per cent possession and no shots on target at Wembley but they defended resolutely from the front until substitute Christian Eriksen struck in time added-on to give Spurs a hard-earned 1-0 victory.

Defeat kept Burnley in the bottom three in the Premier League but Dyche, who may once again field a back three at Arsenal in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off, took a pragmatic view of how he set up his side.

He said: “It’s simple for me: it’s reality tactics. If everyone thinks that every team in the Premier League is going to play the beautiful game, at the moment there’s only one winner and that’s Manchester City.

“We’ve got to find a way and we’ve done that consistently over the six years that I’ve been here. We’ve found a way of being successful.

“We’ve had to fight, we’ve had to work, we’ve played some good stuff at times, we’ve played some productive stuff, we’ve played some hard stuff, but we’ve found a way and I think that doesn’t change.

“When you’re playing these big clubs it’s very, very difficult. It’s more reality tactics rather than negative tactics for me.”

Dyche has been heartened by Burnley’s recent displays but admitted – with his side in the relegation zone, albeit on goal difference alone – that collecting points is more important.

Speaking to preview his side’s trip to the Emirates Stadium to take on the Gunners, he said: “We’ve been close and we’ve delivered good performances.

“Performances are coming back to what we think. We can still do better for sure, but they have to get the reward of points because that’s the industry we’re in.”

Dyche revealed he could look to strengthen his squad when the transfer window opens next month in an effort to boost his side’s hopes of retaining their top-flight place.

He will work alongside newly-appointed technical director Mike Rigg to identify targets but insisted he will not spend frivolously.

Asked whether he is hoping to add to his squad in January, Dyche responded: “We are but it’s tough.

“Mike Rigg has come in but there’s no pressure on him because he’s only just come in, we’re looking to build a system and a model that can work, not just in this window but a longer period for the club.

“The way the club has operated and the way it continues to operate is that it’s not throwing money at every situation.

“There’s no immediate pressure on (Rigg) but it’s helpful if he can add something to what we already do and if there is something out there that we think we can move on then we will do.”