BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche is absolving goalkeeper Nick Pope from any blame for the weekend defeat to Leicester City.

The Clarets stopper could only palmed out a Riyad Mahrez shot into the path of Demarai Gray who bundled home what proved to be the winner early in the game at the King Power Stadium.

That saw Dyche’s side slip to seventh in the table after suffering just a second away defeat of the Premier League season.

But the Turf chief saw plenty of positives in his side’s display in the East Midlands and felt the whole back five could have done better in preventing the Leicester winner.

He said: “I think he’s been excellent (Pope), it wasn’t just him, the whole back four, rarely, were just a bit flat footed and staring at the moment rather than reacting.

“But I’m not going to lay any blame on them, certainly. We had enough chances to get back into the game.”

Burnley were again without full back Matt Lowton for the trip with Phil Bardsley again performing well in the former Aston Villa man’s absence while Dyche confirmed the decision to replace Steven Defour was tactical not enforced.

“Steven was a tactical change, it’s an awkward one with him coming off, but Jeff (Hendrick) can fill that midfield slot slightly better for many reasons but Steven is delivering a very good season, I’ve been very pleased with him and pleased how he’s enjoying his football.”

On whether Lowton will be back for the home game with Watford on Saturday, Dyche added: “We’ll see how that settles down during the week, but Bardo has done really well.

“It is not easy to play two games in such short time when you’ve not played virtually all season so he’s done well to settle in quickly.”

Burnley will look to bounce back from the Foxes defeat when the Hornets visit but Dyche was not too disheartened by the performance against Claude Puel’s side.

“There’s a lot of good things about what we’re trying to achieve at the moment, and a result often doesn’t tell the whole story,” said the Turf boss.

“They’re still a good side, people forget, England players, international players, they won the league a couple of years ago so they’re no mugs.

“I thought we gave a real good show of how strong we are and how we’re progressing but that’s got to continue.”