Monday 22 January 2018

Dyche resigned to Burnley fate

West Ham 1-0 Burnley

Burnley manager Sean Dyche
Burnley manager Sean Dyche

Matt McGeehan

Burnley manager Sean Dyche admits that his side need a miracle to retain their Premier League status.

The Clarets are eight points adrift of safety with three games to play after Michael Duff's controversial sending-off and Mark Noble's resulting penalty earned the Hammers victory at Upton Park.

"That makes it a whole big mountain to climb now. You're going into myths, legends and folklores," said Dyche, whose side next play Hull, one of the two safe teams they can overhaul. "I'm a realist. I don't do blind faith. Positive realities, I call it. I'm positive but there has to be a reality."

Referee Jonathan Moss dismissed Duff for clipping Cheikhou Kouyate in the box, with Noble converting the spot-kick for Sam Allardyce's side to score their first penalty of the season.

Dyche has no qualms with the penalty award, but believes anyone in the vicinity of Upton Park would have been surprised with the red card being issued.

"I asked the ref after the game and he said it was because he was ready to shoot and score," Dyche said. "I've got no problem with the fact it's a penalty. I think there's a stadium full of people who are very surprised it's a sending off.

"I can only imagine their manager was surprised. Their staff were certainly surprised. I think the subs were surprised it was a sending off. I think the groundsman was surprised it was a sending off, I think the linesman was surprised.

"It's a real sadness to me that at this stage of the season and these vital games I'm having to speak about a referee's decision which changed the game."

The Hammers are safe in mid-table but Allardyce's side had scored only three goals in their previous seven games and they failed to make their numerical advantage pay, having to settle for a single goal as their fans endured a tense finish.

"Our only weakness today was not converting more chances," said Allardyce.

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