Dyche hoping for a hero
Published 07/05/2015 | 16:31
Burnley boss Sean Dyche is wondering who can be his side's Lionel Messi and deliver as their season reaches crunch point this weekend.
The Clarets, bottom of the Barclays Premier League after six games without a win, will be relegated back to the Championship if they fail to win at Hull on Saturday.
Dyche's men have scored just one goal in their last nine games, a huge failing that has undermined a series of battling and praiseworthy performances.
Dyche knows his side are not taking their chances and he needs his players to be ruthless - as Messi was in guiding Barcelona to a stunning victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday - at the KC Stadium.
Dyche said: "We have made chances but we have got to take them, we know that.
"The quality is there - I believe in the players - it is just the moment of quality, and delivering that at the key moments.
"You know the little fella who has done all right over in Spain? He had a couple of moments like that, when he was prepared to deliver the quality last night.
"They are often the defining margins in any game. We were on the right side of it to the tune of only losing five games last year.
"This year has been a lot tougher job, of course, but the approach has always been to win.
"Obviously we are at that last-chance stab at it. You have got to be reality-bound, but the lads are definitely up for it. They have been all season."
With just nine points left to play for, Burnley have no margin for error. After this weekend they face Stoke and Aston Villa in their final two games and Dyche is not giving up, despite the odds now being firmly against his side.
He said: "Margins are tight. Big decisions lately have gone against us, which have had an effect, but we will be ready to play, for sure.
"It has frustrated me that we are not in a better position than we are in, but we are still alive."
One decision that went against Burnley last week was the controversial sending off of defender Michael Duff in the 1-0 loss at West Ham.
Duff was dismissed for the 23rd-minute foul on Cheikhou Kouyate which led to the penalty from which West Ham scored their winner.
Burnley at least achieved one victory this week by successfully appealing against the red card.
Duff said: "I was frustrated with myself for making a bad decision and giving the penalty away but it was much more of a surprise when the red card came my way.
"Thankfully it has been rescinded and I am available to play this weekend.
"It was a blow playing that length of time with 10 men but it's ifs, buts and maybes. We'll never know what would have happened so we just move on."