Vincent Kompany said Burnley will need more outstanding individual performances in order to survive in the Premier League after goalkeeper James Trafford put in a superb display in his team’s 1-1 draw against Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
The visitors took the lead against the run of play courtesy of a brilliant strike from Wilson Odobert, taking advantage as three Brighton players stood off him and unleashing a wicked drive that nicked off James Milner and flew over goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen into the top corner.
At that stage, Trafford had already saved well from Milner and Pascal Gross, and he continued to repel the home side’s attempts to claw the game back, racing from his goal to keep out Simon Adingra with a sprawling block in the second half.
Burnley were finally breached when Adingra nodded in a cross from the excellent Gross minutes later, but Trafford would save his best until last, first showing outstanding reflexes to beat away a header from substitute Jack Hinshelwood in stoppage time before flinging himself towards the top corner to somehow fingertip Karou Mitoma’s volley over the bar.
“The game demanded it at the end,” said Kompany. “You don’t come to these places and get a result without moments like this.
“It’s in the bank for him (Trafford), in terms of having come through this. He needs to keep working on becoming the best he can be. We’re very fortunate to have two very good goalkeepers.
“His season has been no different to everyone else in the team. He’s improved throughout the season, shown good signs. He’s been more and more consistent and ultimately at this level consistency is the key word.
“We have more and more players who perform at a consistent level. In games like today, without someone having an outstanding performance, you never get results.”
Burnley were seeking just their second away win of the season but despite defending bravely after taking the lead they were left to rue more dropped points on the road, though the gap to Everton in 17th place has been cut to two points.
“We’re not at a level yet where we can compete every week with teams like Brighton on an equal level,” said Kompany.
“There’s a tremendous belief in me that the club is going in the right direction.
“Our biggest, unique strength is it’s an elite club in terms of the attitude, the standard and the habits. I would put us against anybody. The amount of belief and resilience we’ve got. It’s a special club that really lives.
“It’s not for no reason that after such a tough start, you still see progression, you still see people getting better. That won’t stop.”
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi reflected that there is still a way to go before his side can consider themselves amongst the league’s top bracket.
“I consider my team a very good team, I have big, big confidence,” he said.
“There isn’t anyone more than me who believes in my players. But we are not a top team yet, because a top team wins today, against Sheffield (United) and against Fulham (both games finished 1-1 at the Amex).
“Winning these three games, we would be third in the table. These three games, we played very well, and we deserved to win.
“Why didn’t we win these three games? Maybe because we are not a top team yet. Maybe the coach of Brighton is not a top, top coach yet.”