The Clarets were reduced to 10 men with just six minutes gone after a rash challenge from Jeff Hendrick, and the hosts capitalised on their numerical advantage by taking a first half 2-0 lead, courtesy of goals from Troy Deeney and debutant M’Baye Niang.
But Dyche’s men dominated the second half, and halved the deficit through Ashley Barnes’ late penalty, which left the Hornets clinging on to their lead.
And the Burnley boss admitted that ‘the early sending off affects the game radically, but today I thought we were absolutely fantastic,’ with Dyche adding ‘the second half… that will and desire to go and win the game was absolutely outstanding.’
The Turf Moor chief also acknowledged his side ‘took the game on with a clear view of trying to win it, even at 2-0 down’ and recognised the Clarets ‘had a couple of golden chances at the end when we could have taken something.’
Dyche was also quick to lavish praise on Burnley’s sizeable away following, who made yet another fruitless trip to support the side, with the manager noting ‘the crowd’s part today because they were right behind the team,’ and added that it ‘was fantastic to hear them and see their team give every ounce of effort.’
Hendrick sees red
Burnley’s start to the game was sorely disrupted by the dismissal of Republic of Ireland midfielder Hendrick, who was given his marching orders for a tackle on Watford’s Jose Holebas.
Speaking on that red card – the first of Hendrick’s career – Dyche believed it ‘was a tough one [to take], but I could see why the ref had to give it.’
The former Hornets manager also mused he didn’t feel ‘there’s a lot of actual contact, but Jeff’s foot connects with the top of the ball, and his leg goes over the top,’ and confessed ‘nowadays, that’s going to be a sending off… it’s not a vicious one, though.’