Sean Dyche: I am not the Special One, just the Ginger One

Gerry Cox
Sean Dyche applauds Burnley's travelling away support at Selhurst Park - Getty Images Europe

Nothing sums up the down-to-Earth attitude of Burnley football club quite like the reactions of manager Sean Dyche and defender James Tarkowski to the player being hit by a cigarette lighter thrown from the crowd early in this pivotal victory, their first away from Turf Moor this season.

Ashley Barnes had just opened the scoring, and as he celebrated with team-mates in front of the Holmesdale End, one of several objects thrown from the crowd hit Tarkowski on the head.

“I got a lighter on the top of my head and I saw pound coins and all sorts on the pitch around me. It’s not nice, not ideal. But I just get on with it. I don’t complain too much.”

Dyche made light of it, too. “Absolutely no drama from me or my players,” said the manager. “Tarki wouldn't have felt it anyway - he's got a big head,” he joked.

But it will be no laughing matter for Palace if action is taken, although Sam Allardyce stressed that the club will act quickly to deal with the matter.

Crystal Palace 0 - 1 Burnley (Ashley Barnes, 7 min)

Allardyce was downbeat about his side's under-par performance, citing nervousness on their part and terrific defending from Burnley as the principal reasons why Dyche's side were able to leapfrog Palace into a position that should ensure another season of Premier League football.

The celebrations among visiting players and supporters after Andre Gray secured all three points with a late breakaway goal suggested they know Burnley are safe, but Dyche refused to concur. “People suggest that we’re there but we’re not. We might be,” he said.

“We’ve got to stay focused and keep working. My players should be hungry to get more points. They’ve given themselves a fantastic platform going into the last three games. Therefore stay focused and go as hard as you can and see what we can get.”

He claimed not to feel anything special when Gray scored. “I’m not The Special One, like Jose (Mourinho). I’m only special because I’ve got ginger hair and 95 per cent of the world’s population haven’t got ginger hair,” he smiled.

George Boyd and Sam Vokes celebrate with Burnley  Credit: Reuters

“Joking apart, I stay focussed. I’ve seen football matches change so quickly and that’s why I don’t get involved. You don’t see me running up and down the sidelines when we score or after games.

"I just try to stay factual, focussed, and it is real, authentic. This is not a spin. This is who I am - boring.”

Allardyce admitted Burnley deserved to win, having defended as well as Palace had done in their recent victories at Chelsea and Liverpool.

“Burnley defended so well, getting back to cover, denying us space, getting blocks in, throwing their bodies in the way,the way we did at Chelsea and Liverpool. This game was bigger than Chelsea and Liverpool, because we're closer together (in the table) so whoever wins it goes three points away from you.”

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