Sean Dyche believes it is “impossible” for Burnley’s surprise FA Cup exit to have any impact on their attempt to beat the drop in the Premier League.
Dyche shuffled his pack on Tuesday evening as only wingers Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Dwight McNeil and striker Matej Vydra were retained from the weekend draw against Brighton for the fifth-round visit of Bournemouth.
A largely second-string line-up succumbed to a 2-0 defeat on a bitterly cold night at Turf Moor but Dyche was unapologetic about making so many changes, even though his side are eight points clear of the bottom three.
Indeed, Dyche pointed out that giving an opportunity to those on the fringes means it is out of the question that the loss to their Sky Bet Championship opponents will have any bearing on the regulars for the rest of the season.
“It’s impossible because it’s a completely different group of players,” the Burnley manager said.
“The focus of the Premier League is always there and the FA Cup, in my honest view, doesn’t reach the level of our thoughts about the Premier League. It’s purely a business thing.
“The Premier League will definitely be the viewpoint; it was before this game and will be after this game, whether we won or lost.”
One of the eight changes was announced just prior to kick-off as it transpired Erik Pieters was suspended, having collected bookings in the previous two rounds against MK Dons and Fulham.
Pieters was initially named in Burnley’s XI before a member of Bournemouth’s staff pointed out the Dutch full-back’s ineligibility, leading to Anthony Driscoll-Glennon being handed a full debut at short notice.
The 21-year-old was unable to stop Jack Stacey’s cross which allowed Sam Surridge a simple tap-in for Bournemouth’s opener midway through the first half but Dyche was delighted at how Driscoll-Glennon handled the occasion.
“I thought he did terrific because it’s not easy,” Dyche said. “We were unsure how quickly we could get that information into him, so I thought he did nicely because that situation is not easy.
“Erik was just scratching his head because he didn’t know until we explained it to him. It was an important but simple admin error – a slip of judgement.”
Surridge was instrumental as Bournemouth moved into the quarter-finals for only the second time in their history, putting the finishing touch on a swift attack before winning a late penalty converted by Junior Stanislas.
“It’s a good achievement for everyone and hopefully we can get to the semis, that’s our next aim,” Surridge told afcbTV. “Winning brings confidence and it can only be good for us and the club.
“To come here and score two goals, any team is going to be proud of that. We needed to put in that performance, so credit to the players.”
Bournemouth’s win was their second in two games under caretaker manager Jonathan Woodgate, who took temporary charge last week following the sacking of Jason Tindall.
“It’s been a tough week for everyone but credit to the players, we’ve come out and put two good performances in,” Surridge added.
“We’ve all taken to Woody since he’s come in, he’s been great with everyone. It’s just a case of listening to him and seeing what ideas he’s got. We’ve all done that.”