Sean Dyche felt Burnley got what they deserved despite needing a last-gasp equaliser and penalties to see off League One MK Dons in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Clarets missed a host of chances and trailed to Cameron Jerome’s 29th-minute header before Matej Vydra found the net in the final minute of injury time to make it 1-1.
With no goals in extra time, a shoot-out was needed and it was debutant keeper Will Norris who emerged the hero with two saves after Vydra had missed the opening kick.
Burnley put out a strong team despite missing four players either through coronavirus or isolation plus other injuries, and it marked a winning start for the new regime following the takeover by American investors ALK Capital.
Dyche said: “I thought the performance was decent. Trying to balance all that and win a game was a bit tricky, and it was made even trickier by a good MK Dons side that tried to take the game on.
“One of our big things is going to the final whistle and we did that again today. Really good finish by Vyds, real desire.
“The chances count is as high as I’ve seen for a while, and within that the chances on target, and within that the quality chances. You’ve got to take them. We’ve had so many good chances.
“I thought their keeper was excellent. It’s a strange one. You look at our side and say we should have won that game and we did in the end.”
It was a heartbreaking result for MK Dons and their manager, Russell Martin, was sent to the stands before extra time for his protests to referee Jon Moss following Vydra’s equaliser.
What a group.— MK Dons (@MKDonsFC) January 9, 2021
He said: “I’m really disappointed for my players but I’m also immensely proud so I want to try to focus on that. The way they dug in, the mentality they showed.
“We could have showed a bit more composure but I get it playing against a Premier League team. First half they looked very dangerous but I thought the boys defended brilliantly, the keeper did really well.
“To concede so late on – and that was the frustration, we were told game over and then they allowed the free-kick to be played. I felt those efforts, especially when it was so close, deserved to go through.
“I just wanted to have a conversation. I was waved away twice and I ended up getting frustrated, which I shouldn’t have done. I didn’t make any personal comments or anything. I apologise to Jon Moss.”
Martin’s was the second red card of the game but the one shown to Richard Keogh for deliberate handball at the end of the first half was overturned after Moss, having viewed the footage, decided the defender had been fouled by Chris Wood.
That did not go down well with Dyche, who said: “If that’s classed as a foul by Woody on their centre-half then the game’s going to be in a bizarre place.
“He (Keogh) had a look at it, realised Woody’s gone off his shoulder, threw his arm up, deliberate handball. Trying to referee the game himself and lo and behold they decide it’s not a red card. I just find it bizarre.”
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