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Burnley had just held on stoically for a draw against Liverpool on Saturday as manager Sean Dyche was facing a number of questions regarding his side’s style, gameplan and tactics.
While his side were perceived as defensive during this game, they still managed to open the scoring and also had a chance to claim all three points in the latter stages when a Ben Mee header from a set-piece forced Simon Mignolet into an excellent save.
Dyche answered these questions pragmatically and also spoke about the challenge sides like his face when coming up against the big-spending clubs like Liverpool above them.
“You don’t want to harp on about it but you are judged exactly the same [as them], yet the playing field is completely not level; that’s the madness of it,”he said.
“But then you don’t want to make too big a deal out of it, because you know what, I actually believe in my players no matter how much they cost. I actually believe in every one of them. It’s a price tag, but i must say it’s harder for everyone now because the price tags are irrelevant. It’s just whether you want to pay it or not.”
Liverpool rotated heavily and it didn’t seem to weaken the Reds, who rained shots down on Nick Pope, who was standing in for injured first-choice goalkeeper Tom Heaton. Dyche hailed his side’s “excellent” defensive unit as they protected their keeper, meaning only nine of their opposition’s 35 shots were on target, but the Englishman also revealed their attacking plan in this type of fixture.
“We’re gonna have to be resolute in our shape, cover a lot of ground, and make it uncomfortable for them,” he explained.
“The best way in these parts — which everyone tells you by the way — [is that] they’re having a tough time with set-pieces. We thought that would be important and, as it happens, we had two cleared off the line from set-pieces, so therefore our gameplan was to take that seriously.”
Half of the Premier League’s TV money is shared across the division, which is much fairer when compared with other European leagues, but the arrangement still favours clubs who appear on TV more regularly, and those who finish higher in the league.
Dyche summarised this disparity and, without complaining about it, explained that this is why some teams have to set up differently, and they shouldn’t be criticised for doing so.
“Whatever opinions about games are, they made seven changes today for guys that they’ve brought here for absolute fortunes,” he added.
“They're bringing players off the bench at £30 million a time. Our job is to find a way of getting a point, getting a win, and I think we’ve done that very, very well today.”
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