Burnley manager Sean Dyche has sought to clarify his comments from earlier this week about Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge, stressing he did not label the striker a “cheat”.
Following the Clarets’ 3-1 loss to Liverpool on Wednesday, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp, despite apparently having not regarded them as fouls, expressed his unhappiness about some of the challenges there had been on his players, including one by Ben Mee on Joe Gomez, who suffered a leg fracture.
Dyche on Thursday came out fighting in response to Klopp, commending his players for their tackling and saying only one challenge by Phil Bardsley was “questionable”, while describing Mee’s as “fantastic.”
He also accused Sturridge of a first-half dive, saying: “It’s funny, he (Klopp) didn’t reference Daniel Sturridge’s cheating. He never got touched, nothing near him, and actually got a free-kick.”
Dyche added: “I just can’t believe Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool fans – and I don’t believe they do – would want cheating in the game and sacrifice good, honest challenges.”
Klopp subsequently jumped to Sturridge’s defence on Friday as he said: “Daniel Sturridge is no cheat.”
The matter came up again after Burnley 1-0 win over Brighton on Saturday as Dyche said: “I didn’t call Daniel Sturridge a cheat, I said he was cheating. There’s a difference.
“I don’t know the lad. I don’t remotely, I’m not presuming he is or he isn’t. I was just saying on that occasion he was cheating.
“That is what I will say, because I think that needs to be clear, because I don’t think that’s fair on players.
“The rest of it – at the end of the day, people still love a tackle. That’s all I was trying to say. People still enjoy a good, proper, safe tackle.”