Sean Dyche hailed “big monster” Nick Pope for setting the groundwork for Burnley’s battling 3-0 win at Watford.
The Hornets bossed the first half at Vicarage Road on Saturday but failed to find a breakthrough, and paid a hefty price as Dyche’s Clarets fought their way to victory after the break.
Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and James Tarkowski all found the net to send Watford bottom of the league and Burnley up to sixth, leaving boss Dyche delighted with his side’s grafting qualities.
And Dyche lauded England goalkeeper Pope for keeping Burnley’s defence in check under that first-half pressure.
He said: “As an attacking team you shape to cross, and you think ‘maybe we’ve got a chance’, but then the cross comes in and a big monster like him comes and takes it.
“A goalkeeper can bring a calmness to a team. The defensive unit kept us in it at half-time.
“We couldn’t get a foothold in the game in that first half. So that resilience to make sure we stayed intact is a very important factor in the Premier League.
“You have to stay in it to win it and we did. I don’t think it was a 3-0 performance, Watford gave as good as they got, but you end up taking it, of course.
“Nick Pope has been brilliant and he’ll definitely take confidence from his time with England, and I hope he continues to grow for us now off the back of that.”