BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche rued the loss of “two awful goals” as the Clarets succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Sunderland in Saturday’s crucial Premier League clash.
Connor Wickham and Jermain Defoe grabbed the first-half goals which leave Burnley just outside the drop zone.
Dyche said: “I think first half the edge we normally play with wasn’t there. I spoke to the players about it at half-time and second half it came back.
“In saying that, we had a fantastic chance at 0-0, but it’s an interesting situation here – the expectation is very high, and we felt if that went in, etc etc.
“It didn’t, and they deserved to be ahead at half-time, they were the better side.
“We gave away two awful goals by our standards, made it too easy for them, then second half we did respond, we created chances.
“It was a funny game.
“I know how it feels and looks, but statistically you could think we’d delivered a good performance, but the performance didn’t have the clarity and the edge.
“The really good chances we haven’t capitalised on, but they had two clear chances and put them away – that’s life in the Premier League.
“We’re learning and improving, I’m sure of that, we’re still in good shape, and still active.
“It’s a learning curve for these players on a weekly basis, and it’s another big reminder that you have to be on top of your game every week, certainly us, we can’t come away from our standards and we had too many down (on Saturday).
“It’s improbable every player is at the top level of their performance every week, but you can’t carry three and four who aren’t.
“We need everyone at it.
“We are a group who likes to play, we were runner harder, faster, longer over the Christmas period, I don’t think statistically you can fault us. It is what it is.
“There’s been a break, it will come again, so it’s important we learn from that again.”