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Dyche angered by Mirallas challenge

Published 18/04/2015

Burnley manager Sean Dyche is angry his players appear to be being punished for playing the game the right way.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche is angry his players appear to be being punished for playing the game the right way.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche claims his side are being punished for playing the game the right way and not haranguing referees in order to win decisions.

The Clarets lost 1-0 at Everton after Ashley Barnes was sent off on the stroke of half-time for two bookable offences yet Toffees goalscorer Kevin Mirallas escaped with only a yellow card for a studs-up challenge on George Boyd.

Dyche was amazed the Belgium international stayed on the pitch and wondered whether the outcome would have been different had his players followed the example of some Premier League teams in surrounding referee Mike Jones.

"I don't think fans want to see players surrounding referees. We don't - maybe we should because other teams would have for the Mirallas challenge," he said.

"It is impossible he stays on the football pitch. I have no clue (why it was not a red card) - high, late. I don't understand how he wasn't sent off.

"It is nothing about him as a person, it is just factually in my opinion a red-card challenge."

Dyche also had issue with a first-half Ross Barkley penalty, saved by goalkeeper Tom Heaton, which was awarded despite David Jones's tackle on Aaron Lennon appearing to be outside the box, and also a challenge on Scott Arfield at the other end which Jones decided did not warrant a spot-kick.

"I was interested in the view of the penalty he had," added the Clarets boss.

"I have seen it back and it was outside the box. Tom made a fantastic save and we carried on.

"Then Scotty Arfield is dancing across their box and there is an attempted challenge that misses and we all know if he goes down it (a penalty) is probably going to be given.

"If Barnes gets booked earlier in the game for attempting and missing (a tackle) then the principle should be the same.

"We attempt not to simulate. We attempt not to have too many rows with the referee yet you don't get things, so where does it leave you.

"You do it right and you get nothing, you do it wrong and you get something - which is kind of against the principles of the game."

Dyche had no complaints about Barnes's sending-off, which rules him out of next weekend's crucial visit of fellow strugglers Leicester.

"It was just two silly challenges, not malicious. I think to be fair this ref got that one right, that was good," he said.

The 29th-minute winner scored by Mirallas, which made it 13 points from the last five matches for Everton, was almost forgotten but there was a debate to be had over the Toffees' penalty-takers.

Despite Leighton Baines, scorer of 15 from 16 from the spot, being on the field Barkley was the preferred option.

A similar thing happened in January when Mirallas stepped up in front of the England defender against West Brom but failed, after which manager Roberto Martinez clarified his left-back was the confirmed taker only for striker Romelu Lukaku - who returned from a month out with a hamstring injury as a second-half substitute - to score the next three.

Martinez's thinking on the issue was slightly more muddled this time around however.

"Romelu is the penalty taker. After that there are three or four players who can take the penalties," he said.

"There is no such thing as a best penalty taker. I don't agree with penalty takers being a designed one apart from Romelu being on the pitch.

"We have Leighton Baines who is a specialist, Gareth Barry who has an incredible record - it depends on how you feel at that moment.

"Ross showed incredible responsibility and Leighton Baines was happy to given him that responsibility."

Martinez also sought to defend Mirallas for his challenge on Boyd.

"I don't think it is a red card. He stands on his feet. He is well controlled when the referee gives the challenge," he added.

"It is just a normal action. Not malicious from Kevin, a typical striker's challenge."

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