Burnley boss Sean Dyche is finding himself under a bit of pressure.
A candidate for manager of the year after a seventh place finish last season, this time he finds himself one point off the relegation zone.
He points to last season’s success, which was built on winning tight games, 12 of Burnley’s 14 Premier League victories were by the odd goal.
Sean Dyche believing then that it is all about ‘super tight’ margins in matches and that this season is no different.
He says that he was pleased with a lot of aspects of his team’s play on Monday night, only to be undone by ‘a lucky goal and a poor one’, it sounds a bit like the Alan Hansen school of thought where no conceded goal is a good one.
Maybe Dyche can point a finger at his own defence for what proved the winner but certainly nothing poor from Newcastle’s point of view when it came to Ritchie’s cross and Clark’s header.
Possibly there was an element of luck in the opening goal but it isn’t as though Rafa’s team have carried much of it this season so far.
In reality, it was Newcastle with the clearest chances and if Joselu had hit the net and not the post, Ritchie had finished from a yard out with the goal gaping, then it could have got embarrassing for Sean Dyche and his players. I would also argue the home side carried the luck as well because Yedlin was brought down as he played the ball to Ritchie and it should have been a penalty.
Last season, only three of Newcastle’s twelve PL victories were won by more than one goal and this time, the three game (so far…) winning run have all came by the smallest of margins.
If Rafa has maybe one complaint it will be that this is two games in a row where Newcastle went two up and failed to be clinical enough and properly punish the opposition.
No damage done so far but with one goal leads it could prove costly in the weeks and months ahead.
‘I’m frustrated because it was a performance that looked more like us.
“We’ve conceded a lucky goal and a poor one, and that’s something we have tried to eradicate over the past few weeks, after a tough start.
“We’ve given too many of them away this year, and we’re still trying to iron out those details.
“But other than there were a lot of good things and I was pleased with the mentality. It’s not easy when you are two goals down, but we’ve asked questions, opened them up and it’s difficult to play against 4-5-1 when they are two up, but we still asked enough.
“There were some really good performances tonight because the character, energy and belief in the side is still intact, so it’s another frustrating one.
“Last season we won something like 12 games by the odd goal and I said then that the margins are super tight.
“Sometimes the details are not quite there, but I think we are coming back to being us.
“But we know we have to turn performances into results and that means being better in both boxes.
“They are the important areas of the pitch, and we are getting closer to doing them well.
“Tonight, the quality of chances we created was good and that’s got to continue. I never question the forwards for missing a chance; only if they’re not getting in there and tonight the two centre forwards were alive around the box and both played very well.
“We also finished super strong and we aware still creating chances right up to the whistle, and I want the mentality to continue because tonight they have done enough, with that level of performance, to get what we need.”
“There were some moments of real good play. Looking beyond the result, because it’s a season’s work, then we are starting to come back to what we think we can be. But of course, you’ve got to get a result, that’s the business we are in. We have to earn the right, nobody gives you anything in football, we know that, performance levels aside.
“A lot of the aspects of the performance I was actually pleased of, so it’s a frustrating one.
“But once you give two goals away, it’s difficult in the Premier League. Some good stuff, stuff to be pleased of, mentality excellent, but obviously very frustrated with the result of course.”
Stats from BBC Sport:
Burnley 1 Newcastle 2
Newcastle: Fernandez (Mee own goal?) 4, Clark 23
Burnley: Vokes 40
Possession was Burnley 56% Newcastle 44%
Total shots were Burnley 14 Newcastle 17
Shots on target were Burnley 4 Newcastle 3
Corners were Burnley 5 Newcastle 5
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Dubravka, Yedlin, Schar, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie, Diame, Ki, Kenedy (Hayden 90), Rondon (Joselu 71), Perez
Woodman, Manquillo, Shelvey, Murphy, Atsu
Crowd: 20,628 (Newcastle 2,400)
(The instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the win HERE)
(Read the match report HERE)