Dyche in high spirits after Turf Moor win
MANAGER Sean Dyche seemed as excited about meeting Timmy Mallett as he did about Burnley’s win over West Ham that could be a pivotal day in their season.
First-half goals from Chris Wood and teenager Dwight McNeil, coupled with some resolute defending and an outstanding late save from Tom Heaton – picked ahead of Joe Hart to make his first Premier League start in 15 months – gave the Clarets a confidence-boosting win.
Dyche was already beaming from the result when he walked into his post-match press conference, but his smile grew wider when he spotted children’s entertainer Mallett sat front and centre – accompanying his son who is visiting all 92 league grounds.
“Goodness me, Timmy Mallett,” Dyche exclaimed. “Legend. Very rarely do I get selfies, but I might.
“It caps off a good day, that.”
If Burnley can stay in the Premier League, the picture he got with the former Wacaday presenter could become a treasured memory.
This was a return to the Burnley of last season when they played their way into Europe: tight at the back, dangerous going forward.
The return of Heaton added to a feelgood factor that seemed to start even before kick-off, with fans not dwelling on the 5-1 home loss to Everton four days earlier that had left Burnley with one win in 12.
“It wasn’t easy walking out there, but I’ve got to give the fans credit,” Dyche said.
“In a situation like this, after such a big thing last season, they can start asking questions and that can go into the crowd with the noise.
“There might be questions, I’m not stupid about that, but there was a great noise, a positive noise.
“That gives the players a start point and the players delivered on that.”