BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche said his team could not have done much more to at least prevent defeat to Middlesbrough.

Promotion celebrations were postponed by Jacob Butterfield’s breakaway goal early in the second half, while a win for nearest challengers Derby County closed the gap to second to eight points.

Despite a succession of chances, and failed penalty claims, the Clarets could not get the result they needed to close in on securing a return to the Premier League before the Easter weekend.

But Dyche insists the occasion and possibilities did not get to his players.

“Absolutely not. I thought there was a clear focus, great energy and great quality to the performance,” said the Burnley boss.

“I’m pleased with that. All the rest of it is just noise around the outside, we focus on what we’re about and what we do. There were massive signs of it again – totally clear signs of what we’re about again.”

Asked how he views the Championship table now, with four games to go, he added: “It’s a simple assessment from us. If you’re a Burnley fan or part of Burnley Football Club and at the beginning of the season when we’d just sold Charlie Austin someone said ‘by the way, with four games to go you'll be eight points clear of third place’, I don’t think there would be too many disappointed. So I’m not disappointed.

“I’m disappointed with the result of course, but not with a performance like that.”