Sean Dyche's Clarets Make Their Point.
A point away at Hull City in a largely mundane last on Match of the Day type of fixture doesn’t sound like much, but for Burnley the result ticked some very important boxes.
First off, in doubling their points tally away from Turf Moor, Burnley have shed the monkey on their backs, which had the very real potential to disrupt their season.
Secondly, it had the effect of getting Burnley’s month of away games off to a solid start, a foundation upon which to build.
Thirdly, the draw represented a positive reaction on the part of the players to last week’s FA Cup debacle following the major upset against Lincoln.
Hull is hardly unknown territory for Burnley. The two clubs have played each other an awful lot recently. Their respective passages between the top two divisions have almost exactly mirrored each other.
The two sides match ups have proved to be really productive for Burnley, so much so that Hull’s K-Com Stadium has become practically an annex of Turf Moor.
It was a match which plodded along for its first three quarters, only to spring to life in the last twenty minutes. Michael Keane could have few complaints about the handball which resulted in a penalty, squeezed home by Hull skipper Tom Huddlestone, narrowly past Tom Heaton’s dive to put the Tigers ahead.
Keane redeemed himself only a few minutes later with a finish that was practically Pele-esque, trapping Brady’s corner on his chest and drilling the ball past the Hull keeper to level the scores.
After that the only other talking point was Ashley Barnes’ dismissal in stoppage time. Again no complaints, physical skirmishes are very much part of the Barnes’ repertoire and the inevitable result is that he will attract refereeing attention and subsequently acquire cards of both colours.
One of the key features of Burnley under Sean Dyche has been their discipline. Dyche drove a small squad through two gruelling Championship promotion seasons, suspensions were a luxury he could ill afford and Burnley’s card count in those seasons was miniscule.
The red card for Barnes yesterday however, came hot on the heels of the one picked up by Hendrick at Watford, causing one to question whether this represents an instruction for the Clarets to play more aggressively in the English Premier League.
The obvious implication is that Dyche recognises a naivety, perhaps even a physical failing to "sort it" in the relegation campaign of two seasons ago?
Burnley’s record in the present campaign thus far indicates that most of the lessons they were taught about life in the top division two seasons ago have been heeded.
The Clarets have learned to deal with snide comments from patronising pundits, they have also learned not to react to the provocations from rivals and from the media and importantly they have learned to deal with the passive aggressive remarks from those who may find Dyche's style of play distasteful.
Additionally, Burnley have acquired some of the street smart wisdom which is such an important pre-requisite at the top table of English football.
Part of that is the knowledge that sometimes a point will suffice. Yesterday was one such occasion. Burnley remain ten points clear of Hull City. Job done.
This article was written by uber Burnley fan and regular Clarets Mad contributor Dave Thornley.