BIG NAMES CAN WAIT SAYS DYCHE
SEAN Dyche says he will use the international break to bed in new signings Joey Barton and Andre Gray as Burnley’s season gathers momentum.
The Turf Moor boss was delighted with a hard-earned win over one of his former clubs, which saw Gray, who turned down a move to City, play a 70-minute role in their downfall.
First-half headers from defenders Ben Mee and Michael Keane left the Championship newcomers without a win in their first three home fixtures.
But Steve Cotterill’s team were irresistible for half an hour and Dyche admitted his side had needed to conjure up all their recently acquired Premier League knowhow to take the points.
Explaining the absence of latest recruit Barton, the Burnley manager said: “Joey had some prior commitments, which I fully supported him over, but will be with us from Monday.
“Andre Gray did well on his debut, despite what I felt was some over-the-top barracking from the home fans, and he too will benefit from having time on the training ground with us.
“Bristol City were really good in the first half and our goals came somewhat against the run of things. They were very impressive, but we showed the organisation and commitment to keep them out.
“In the second half we were much better, without being particularly fluid. We managed the game and calmed it down.
“Sometimes you need to do that because you can’t be brilliant every week. Now we can use the time before the next game, knowing we already have good points on the board.”
The Robins were undone by the sort of set-piece goals that infuriate managers. On 34 minutes Mee outjumped Luke Ayling to powerfully head home a left-wing corner from David Jones.
And when Jones delivered another corner from the right six minutes later it was another Burnley player, Keane, who lost marker Aden Flint to nod past Ben Hamer from close range.
City kept battling to the end and netted a consolation when Jonathan Kodjia forced the ball in from close range in injury time as Burnley failed to clear a Korey Smith cross.
The hosts paid for a glut of missed chances when on top early on, their former keeper Tom Heaton playing his part with some fine saves.
Boss Cotterill said: “No one is more frustrated than I am at the moment, but I know we are playing the right way and there is no chance of us departing from it.
“We haven’t got the points we deserved from our opening games in which the performances have been very good.
“Unfortunately, we keep paying dearly for mistakes and that was the case again, both with the defend- ing at corners and the build-ups that led to them.
“It is unlike us to lose the players we are marking.
“But again we caused a very good team no end of problems going forward. They couldn’t handle us in the first half.
“We have to keep believing in what we are doing.”
Dyche does not rule out a new signing before Tuesday evening’s deadline, while Cotterill aims to recruit a striker and an on-loan defender.
The City boss revealed before the game that wing-back Ryan Fredericks, only signed from Tottenham a few weeks ago, is heading back to London.
Although he would not reveal the club, it is thought to be Fulham.
LEAVE IT TO MEE: Ben Mee heads home Burnley’s opener