Belfast Telegraph

Delighted Dyche salutes 'terrific' Turf Moor faithful

Sean Dyche believes the bond between his Burnley side and the club's passionate fan base is the key to their remarkable home form.

Bournemouth's 3-2 defeat on Saturday saw them become the fifth Premier League side to taste defeat at Turf Moor this season, following Liverpool, Watford, Everton and Crystal Palace.

All but one of Burnley's 17 points have come in front of their own supporters - a home record most title challengers would envy - and Dyche does not think that is any coincidence.

Turf Moor may not be the biggest or most modern stadium in the top flight - and the same was true in the Championship last term - but it provides a close and formidable atmosphere.

"The fans here are terrific with us, they know the challenge, but they're still behind us no matter what," he said.

"We're really backed by the people here, backed by the one club mentality and it's really important the way people respond to the team.

"It's a big thing for us. That mentality, that belief in how play, the security of how we feel when the fans are behind you...when you're on the road it's not so easy to find that.

"For all we scratch our heads on moments we could do better with the ball I think the fans here see a team who give every inch of their lives every week to try and win a game. I think that's a powerful thing and something to be enjoyed even in this modern era of football."

The Clarets needed more than just goodwill to see off Eddie Howe's men, though.

First of all it took two goals in four first-half minutes.

Jeff Hendrick opened the scoring with a wonderful, dipping lob after two touches to bring the ball under control and Republic of Ireland team-mate Stephen Ward made it two by poking home from close-range when Artur Boruc denied Ben Mee.

"It was a fantastic goal, certainly worthy of the Premier League," noted Dyche of Hendrick's strike before adding a wry observation.

"It's just a shame it wasn't Arsenal because then it would be shown a thousand times rather than maybe four."

Benik Afobe and George Boyd swapped strikes in the second half before a 90th-minute rocket from Charlie Daniels briefly hinted at a second big comeback in a week after Bournemouth's 4-3 defeat of Liverpool.

"You know when you come here what you're going to face," said Howe of the club he left in 2012.

"They have a philosophy and stick to it and you've got to admire the spirit and determination they play with. It's unusual to see a team in the Premier League play that way, but you have to respect it and deal with it.

"We didn't do that well enough. We didn't deal with their direct threat, found ourselves 2-0 down early and then you leave yourself a mountain to climb."

Howe found one positive in the eighth-minute ovation afforded to Harry Arter, whose wife gave birth to a stillborn daughter a year ago.

"I'd like to say thank you to the Burnley fans for their reaction and what they did for Harry," he said.

"It's really good to see football fans unite in tragedy and understand players are human beings. It was a special moment."

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