Burnley manager Sean Dyche admitted he has challenged the conviction of his side going forward but he was heartened what they showed in the second half in the 1-1 draw against Brighton.
The Clarets came into this fixture as the Premier League’s lowest scorers this season, while they had failed to muster a shot on target in each of their two previous outings as they were beaten by Chelsea and Manchester City.
An unchallenged Lewis Dunk headed home to give Brighton a 36th-minute lead in the pouring rain at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon, the ball sailing into the net as Johann Berg Gudmundsson was unable to clear at the back post.
Any blame attached to the Iceland winger was soon forgotten as he bagged his first goal since August 2019 eight minutes after half-time, while former Brighton striker Ashley Barnes’ header was chalked off for offside shortly after.
Matej Vydra was denied by a point-blank save from Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and in the end it was the Seagulls who were grateful to come away with a share of the spoils and their recent unbeaten record still in tact.
Dyche was happy with the overall performance and hopes the more purposeful showing after half-time from a side that have still only scored 14 goals in 22 top-flight games is a sign of things to come for the rest of the campaign.
“I don’t think there would have been too many people disgruntled if it was two or three to us with the amount of quality that we had going forwards,” Dyche said.
“We’ve got to continue with that because it’s one of the things we have questioned this season, but that freedom to go and attack as we did in that second half, we have to continue with that mentality and find that balance.”
Vydra has played second fiddle to Barnes and Chris Wood this season but an injury to the latter, Burnley’s four-goal top scorer this term, has led to the Czech starting in the last two games.
Asked whether he has done enough to stay in the XI once Wood is fit, Dyche responded: “We want players when they come into the side to be effective. He’s certainly doing himself no harm with the performances he’s putting in.
“I thought he was very good the other day against Man City because it’s tough playing against them. His shape, his defensive understanding and his willingness to work for the team was good, that’s adding to his performances.”
Another forward causing problems for defenders was Brighton’s Aaron Connolly, who has reportedly deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts after receiving abuse following his miss in last weekend’s win over Tottenham.
Brighton head coach Graham Potter said: “He’s a human being so you don’t like to have that type of criticism, especially when you’re trying to learn your game and find your feet in the Premier League.
“He’s a young player from our academy that is trying to be a centre-forward in the hardest league in world football. It’s not straightforward for him. We just need to look after him, keep helping him and he’ll be fine.”
A point at Burnley – having surprised Spurs at the Amex Stadium before shocking Liverpool at Anfield in the last few days – might have been seen as underwhelming.
But it stretched Brighton’s unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions, five in the league – a run that has carried them 10 points clear of the relegation zone.
“It’s a fantastic points haul for us, we’ve performed well and got some points and fully deserved the points,” Potter said of the 11 points they have collected in five games. “But we know we have to keep fighting.”