SEAN Dyche has shrugged off Louis van Gaal’s assessment of Burnley as a ‘long ball’ team – insisting the Clarets will continue to play the attractive football that got them promoted last season.
Manchester United boss van Gaal warned his players before Saturday’s 0-0 draw that Burnley would play ‘a lot of long balls’, something that ex-Claret Gary Cahill also remarked upon following Chelsea’s 3-1 win at Turf Moor a fortnight ago.
It is a tag that has surprised some, with Burnley never marked out as a particularly direct side last term in the Championship.
Dyche does not exactly agree with the description but is unconcerned about how others perceive his side.
“I know their manager felt there would be long balls but I just think that we want to play productive football,” said the Clarets boss.
“People saw how productive we were last season and we want to take that into this season, a new challenge against better squads of players.
“I thought it was all there to see on Saturday. Energy, framework, some really good mixed football, longer passes – there’s a difference – and I thought some real quality.
“People have a way of looking at teams and how they play. You’ve got to remember that particularly in the Premier League it’s rare to find that, even a longer pass, they tend to play it all short and sharp. That’s for others to decide how productive that can be.
“I know what I think is productive football, most of you have seen it last season and I think we played some fantastic stuff.
“I think it’s productive but I think it’s good to watch and I think the fans enjoy it and it does get points on the board.”
Dyche felt his side were fully deserving of a point against United, believing they had been unlucky to lose 1-0 at Swansea City a week earlier.
“I think we’ve been deserving of getting something from certainly the last two games,” he said.
“Chelsea I made it quite clear were too strong, too good for us on the night.
“Last week we were deserving of more than we got but we didn’t, it’s as simple as that.
“We got nothing apart from a very good performance, which of course builds mentality and that’s a key factor for us.
“I don’t think you get anything other than a test when you play Manchester United.
“I just thought we applied ourselves well to that test.
“They had pockets of very good play as you’d expect.
“They had a great chance in the first half, our keeper made a great save, and Rooney had a header on the back stick.
“But for a team like Man United I think we’ve done well to keep it to that and then obviously been productive ourselves, we’ve hit the bar, a couple of scrapes, a couple of near things.
“We come away pleased with a point but I’m as pleased with the performance.
“It’s important the way the players play, their performance level, their fitness levels.
“But of course I’m not naive, we have to get points on the board and we’ve got our first one now.”