Nick Pope’s selfless determination to thwart Christian Benteke and preserve Burnley’s lead over Crystal Palace is an insight into the Clarets’ mindset despite their poor start to the season, according to manager Sean Dyche. Chris Wood’s eighth-minute strike was enough for Burnley to collect their first Premier League victory of the campaign, but they were indebted to Pope, who saved well from Nathaniel Clyne, Andros Townsend and Michy Batshuayi. Pope was left needing treatment after taking a knock in denying Palace substitute Benteke in stoppage time, with the spread-eagled England goalkeeper’s left arm keeping out the Belgian striker’s effort from point-blank range. It was a necessary intervention as Burnley won 1-0 to move out of the relegation zone, and Dyche thought it was an indicator that his players had not faltered despite having claimed just two points in their previous seven games.
Sean Dyche said “I thought Popey’s save really encapsulates the right feel about the group because he’s flung himself, makes a great save and gets a knock in the process, That’s what it takes sometimes, that kind of endeavour and desire to make sure you see the game through. I thought it was a real good moment for us but it also gives the feeling of the spirit in the camp. I don’t think that’s wavered through this period, everyone’s stayed in the right direction to turn things around. We’ve made a start, that’s all it is, there’s loads of work to be done but it’s a nice start to win that game.”
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