Burnley’s performance yet again brought praise from their manager Sean Dyche, but the result ultimately left him “frustrated and annoyed” after his team fell to a 1-0 defeat against Manchester United.
Anthony Martial finished off a quick break by blasting the ball into the top corner, sending Clarets goalkeeper Nick Pope the wrong way.
However, that was United’s first shot on target in the game, and Dyche recognises that his team are playing well against the big sides.
“We are playing a clutch of top sides at the moment and we are so close. We’ve had injuries and suspensions but the thing that can be forgotten is the quality of opposition.”
The Clarets have already beaten Chelsea and achieved draws against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United away from home, and have been narrowly beaten by Arsenal, Liverpool and United at Turf Moor.
The closeness of the games against the bigger clubs has pleased Dyche, who added: “You can’t play as regularly as we have, against some of these sides, without seeing how far we have come.”
“We are not just hanging into games, we are taking them on and I have been really pleased with that.”
However, the defeat leaves Burnley without a win in their last seven league games, and has seen the Clarets drop to eighth in the Premier League table.
Matter of "small details" for Defour
Midfielder Steven Defour is remaining positive, insisting his team mates aren’t too far away from rediscovering that winning form, saying, “I think we are still playing well but the margins are very tight in the Premier League.”
“We just have to do what we always do and at some point, we’re going to get that win.”
Burnley gave everything to try and recover from Martial’s powerful opener, with Pope being thrown forward late in the game, but the Clarets still couldnt find a deserved equaliser.
“If you look at the game, it was so tight that maybe we deserved to draw,” Defour continued.
“It’s just the small details that decide a game, we have to continue.”
“Quality of football” pleased Dyche
Sean Dyche echoed the thoughts of his Belgian midfielder saying “we’ve still got a lot of work to do, but I think its clear how the team is moving forward.”
“Some of the quality of football today was excellent, and we’ve come so close in so many ways,” Dyche finished.
Burnley are not in action next weekend due to the FA Cup fourth round, but are back in league action against Newcastle United at St. James Park on Wednesday 31 January.