15 October 2019 22:59
Jeff Hendrick fired his second Premier League goal of the season for Burnley on a day when his Ireland team-mate Seamus Coleman was sent off at Turf Moor. Burnley moved up to fifth place in the table after Hendrick snatched as 72nd-minute goal un a 1-0 win for the home side and he told BBC Sport that Burnley's encouraging start to the season has been a team effort. "The positivity has been key to our success so far," said Hendrick, who will now link up with the Ireland squad ahead of the vital Euro 2020 qualifiers against Georgia and Switzerland. "We had a bad start last season but after Christmas we turned it around and we've not looked back from there. We are taking each match as it comes.
"The first half in this game was difficult. Then we had the sending-off and you have to be patient, move the ball a bit more and tire them a bit out and you will have chances eventually." Coleman was shown a second yellow card with more than half an hour remaining and may have been fortunate not to see a straight red just before half-time when he caught Erik Pieters with his studs, but he found an unlikely ally in Burnley manager Sean Dyche. "I don't think Seamus Coleman is that type of player, indeed I don't think there are too many of that type around anymore," he stated. "But equally, that first challenge is still probably a red card. On reflection, when you see it, it doesn't look a good tackle and even though he hasn't meant it, the referee's role is not to decide if it's an accident, but whether it's dangerous. I like a tackle, but once he's got the yellow for the first, I think the red for the second is inevitable." Dyche insisted he was not interested in Burnley's impressive position in the Premier League table, as he downplayed rising expectations around his team. "I don't get too carried away with league table. I'm more interested in the one at the end of the season," added Dyche. "Don't get me wrong, it's to be enjoyed for Burnley Football Club and the fans, but for me it's about focusing on every game and on where we are at the end of the season. "Within that, there are still moments to be enjoyed and you take in these performances and where we are now, compared to a year ago. "We are in a good place because the players have earned the right. They have come back with a real edge to them and I'll remind you, I was just as proud of them this time last season, when we didn't have as many points behind us." "They are a really good side and I know they've had a tough run, but they have quality all over the pitch, but I thought we contained them well and the red card probably changes the feel of it. "Credit to them because they opened up the pitch and we didn't really get to grips with that for the next five or ten minutes, but the goal finally came and credit to my staff because they work on things like that and analyse the situations. "Set-pieces still account for 25-30% of goals, so they are an important part of the game and I think we do it well at both ends. That settled us down again and the shape was good from there on in." Online Editors