GOING UP? WHO KNOWS SAYS DYCHE!
BURNLEY manager Sean Dyche congratulated Leicester on their promotion but, despite Scott Arfield’s late equaliser at Watford, he remains cautious about his side’s prospects of joining them.
Defeats for QPR and Derby leave Burnley needing eight points from six games for promotion, so winning their remaining home games – where they have lost once all season – will suffice.
Troy Deeney’s long-range goal put them behind early on, and without 46-goal strike duo Sam Vokes and Danny Ings the Clarets struggled to break Watford down until Arfield’s late strike.
Dyche said:“Leicester got promotion weeks ago. Unless there was an absolute statistical anomaly they got it weeks ago and they deserve it.
“We’ve been getting two points a game and I’m very proud of that, but to have achieved what Leicester have achieved is fantastic.
“We’ve put ourselves in a very good position, but we wake up tomorrow morning already thinking about the next game.We can only take care of what we do.
“After they scored they sat off us and it was difficult to break them down.We kept probing, we kept playing, and we’ve nicked another valuable point. It was the minimum we deserved.
“Vokes is out for the season, but I think sooner or later that Ings will be back. He’s moving freely, he’s on the grass and he has a great will to be back involved.”
Before kick-off Watford presented their fans with the options for their goal of the season competition, but the video editors have another entry to hastily add now.
Deeney controlled a long pass on his chest 30 yards out with his back to goal, before volleying over Tom Heaton on the turn in one swift movement.
Encouraged Deeney and Lewis McGugan chanced further longdistance shots, but both fell narrowly wide with long shots was as much as either side could muster with defences dominant in the final third. Ashley Barnes was twice in great positions for the Clarets and found the net from one, but both were marginally offside.
Watford’s usual main attacking outlets – their wing backs – were quietened by Daniel Pudil’s subdued showing and Dyche’s early tactical switch to move Arfield onto Ikechi Anya.
As the second-half
pro- gressed, despite Dyche’s protestations, it seemed the Hornets were likeliest to add a second. Chris Baird turned Anya’s cross wide, as Lewis McGugan queued to score. The Northern Irelandinternational then cleared Anya’s scuffed shot off the line, after the wing back-turned-striker had rounded Heaton.
But, after Ben Mee had seen Burnley’s hitherto best chance pushed wide by Manuel Almunia, Arfield wriggled free on the edge of the box and poked his shot into the Spaniard’s bottom corner to eke the Clarets a point nearer to promotion.
Watford head coach Beppe Sannino said: “In my opinion maybe we should have won.This game perfectly reflects Watford’s season, because in the last ten minutes we almost threw away everything that we had done before in the game.
“When we had the chance to kill the game we should have scored, and then we could have a smile on our faces when talking about the game this evening.
“Considering the team that we were facing, I'm very pleased about the performance. I counted 12 chances to score, including the goal.
“If you see Burnley’s celebrations you can see how they were battling for this goal and how happy they were because maybe they didn’t imagine they would equalise.”
LEVELLER: Scott Arfield celebrates his late goal. Inset: Troy Deeney’s shot hits the back of the net