Boss super proud with Burnley riding high

LONDON • Burnley manager Sean Dyche was "the proudest man in Proudsville" after his side beat struggling Stoke 1-0 at home with a last-gasp goal and climb to fourth in the English Premier League on Tuesday.

A ninth victory in 17 games took Burnley into the Champions League places on 31 points and left them looking down on Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham for 24 hours at least, before yesterday's (this morning, Singapore time) round of matches.

Ashley Barnes smashed home the winner after 89 minutes and while it was not a match that will live long in the memory, Dyche did not care. "I'm very proud, I'm super proud, I'm the proudest man in Proudsville," he said.

"Football is about realities but also about dreams. It's a tough task for us winning games at this level but Leicester blew the roof off dreams in football (when they won the title in 2015-16).

"We've got an aligned thinking here, there's no superstars. I believe in all of them. We've got a group of people - there's a belief in everything we do here."

That faith was also evident at Selhurst Park, after Crystal Palace escaped the Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season also with a last-gasp 2-1 home win over Watford.

Trailing to Daryl Janmaat's third-minute goal, Palace looked set for a damaging defeat that would have left them bottom, but Bakary Sako scored a fortunate equaliser after 89 minutes before James McArthur clinched a stoppage-time winner.

The victory, Palace's third of the season, moved them up to 17th place with 14 points, again without taking into consideration yesterday's matches. Manager Roy Hodgson, however, believes his team still have a mountain to climb to avoid relegation.

"It is a huge three points. But the moment we think our problems are over is the moment our problems will begin," he said.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2017, with the headline 'Boss super proud with Burnley riding high'. Print Edition | Subscribe