Sean Dyche says Burnley’s ‘collective mentality’ was key to FA Cup win at Fulham

Sonia Twigg, PA
·3-min read

Sean Dyche said his Burnley side’s “collective mentality” was the key to their 3-0 FA Cup win over Fulham.

Jay Rodriguez struck twice before turning provider for his side’s third, controlling a loose ball with his shoulder into the path of Kevin Long, who was able to tap home to secure Burnley’s place in the fifth round.

Having not scored since a 1-1 draw at Liverpool on July 11 last year, 31-year-old Rodriguez glanced home a header just after the half-hour mark to put his side ahead before converting from the penalty spot in the 71st minute.

Despite the conditions, with the snow only cleared from the pitch an hour before kick-off on Sunday, Burnley started strongly and appeared full of confidence and momentum after their shock win at Anfield in midweek.

Dyche said: “I thought the attitude towards the game and the performance was fantastic.

“As good an energy from a side as I’ve seen on a very tricky pitch, a very heavy pitch.

“Within the group, we’ve had a lot of injury problems this season but we’ve got fitter this season, and as it’s come back together I think it continues to grow.

“Some very good individual performances, like Jay Rodriguez, but (Matej) Vydra was very active today. I thought the two midfield players were excellent.

“Tarky (James Tarkowski), big game for us the other night at Anfield and I thought he was outstanding again. So a lot of good signs.

“But really the collective mentality I thought was key for us today, they were top drawer.”

Fulham slipped to their third successive defeat and conceded three goals for the first time since a 3-2 home loss to Everton on November 22.

“(It was a) tough day, I didn’t feel we deserved anything out of the game today, to be quite honest with you,” Scott Parker said in an honest reflection on his side’s performance. “I thought we fell very short of the standards and what we’re used to seeing.

“I think we all understood the challenges we would have faced today and we just couldn’t deal with it too well at times and were never able to get a foothold in the game and I think Burnley were well worthy of the win and that’s how I see the game.”

Parker made eight changes from the side beaten by Manchester United, including two of his three central defenders, and they often struggled to contain Burnley’s attacking threat.

“We couldn’t deal with long balls first and foremost,” the Fulham boss said.

“They put you under a lot of pressure with long balls and we struggled with them. But you could put the conditions down to that a little bit and the way the pitch played but I don’t think it was down to that really.

“We just came up short today. First and foremost today you have to face up to a little bit of a battle, certainly against Burnley.

“You need to win that (physical) side of the game to give you a foothold and we didn’t manage to do that so we were never able to put our print on the game and after that mistakes happen and they were able to score their goals.”