CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR FOR DYCHE
Burnley held by Ipswich
SEAN Dyche was disappointed with Burnley’s wastefulness in front of goal after the Clarets were held to a goalless draw by fellow promotion chasers Ipswich.
Mick McCarthy’s team had gone six games unbeaten before arriving at Turf Moor, and the Suffolk side will be much the happier of the two teams to leave Burnley with a share of the points.
Undoubtedly, the best chance of the opening half fell to Burnley’s top scorer Andre Gray.
With 22 minutes on the clock, Michael Kightly did very well down the left flank and his low cross picked out the striker on the penalty spot. However, despite scoring three against Bristol City in their last game, the striker couldn’t direct his shot on target.
“I think it was a tight game,” Dyche admitted after the game.
“We’ve had the best chance, and then a couple of maybe better chances, but it was a tight affair against a side who’ve just won five on the trot away from home.”
Chances were at a premium, and after Gray’s miss Burnley failed to test Dean Gerken in the Ipswich net.
With little space to play with in the middle of the park, both teams regularly resorted to playing the long ball, hoping to pick out their tall forwards with a well-placed diagonal pass.
“We were close but it was no cigar with our fluid play,” continued Dyche.
“We didn’t quite have the connect with the wide players and the front players as we have done in the last couple of games.
“But coming off two 4-0s and get another clean sheet – I think that’s nine this season – that side of the game is pleasing.”
Sam Vokes made his intentions known within the opening minutes, going strong into a challenge with Christophe Berra. It was hard but fair and set the tone for the rest of the match, a view that McCarthy backed up after the game.
“I think it was a great game, it was a tough game,” he said.
“The marker was made on the very first challenge and it continued until the 90th minute. It was two teams who were really competitive, neither were going to give an inch.
“There weren’t a lot of chances, two or three shots Heaton’s had to save, but they’ve gone straight down his neck in the end.”
Once he got back up, Berra was exceptional, giving Gray and Vokes a difficult time through the whole game.
Very little got past the Scotland international and the away side were well-organised and tough to break down.
One moment of contention came late in the first half when Burnley’s Ben Mee had the ball in the net, only for the referee to signal the centre-back had committed a foul in the build-up to the strike.
His initial header was saved by Gerken, but the whistle sounded as Mee followed it up, a decision that Dyche questioned after the game.
“I didn’t think it was a foul for Mee’s goal, and it doesn’t look like it on the monitor afterwards, but any form of contact now and it’s some form of foul.”
On another day, Burnley could have picked up three points, but the away side will be much the happier on their long trip home.
“Burnley are a good team, with a real toughness about them,” McCarthy told the press after the game.
“We are both behind the likes of Derby and Middlesbrough in terms of spending power, but we’ve got that team spirit and that goes a long way in this league.
“Burnley are the same, but they came up against a good team out there.”
NO WAY THROUGH: Burnley’s Michael Kightly shoots at goal as both sides drew a blank
STAR MAN CHRISTOPHE BERRA Ipswich