Phil Bardsley insists Burnley are ready to ‘fight for the cause’, and described their performance against Liverpool as ‘something to build on’ despite the disappointment of defeat.
The former Manchester United, Sunderland and Stoke defender returned at right back, in place of Matt Lowton, after manager Sean Dyche promised changes in the wake of a poor performance in the loss at Crystal Palace last weekend.
And Bardsley set the tone for a significantly more gutsy display against the title-chasing Reds with his full-blooded tackling and range of passing as the Clarets took the game to Liverpool.
“I was bang up for it,” said the 33-year-old, who picked up the man of the match award.
“I think we had to be. I don’t think Liverpool enjoy coming here. I was speaking to a couple of their lads after and they certainly didn’t enjoy Wednesday night that’s for sure.
“Before we went out I talked about getting in early challenges and trying to lift everyone.
“That’s what you’ve got to do in these sort of games.
“When confidence is not sky high the little things affect you as a team and individuals and you probably make the wrong decisions but if you do the basics well you’ve got half a chance of winning football matches.
“If the attitude’s right that little bit of luck will come.
“Going in front gave us a huge lift but they’re a quality team, they’re going to get chances.
“We’re disappointed with the result but it’s something to build on.”
Bardsley added: “The performance lifts us, that’s for sure.
“We’ve got a massive game now against Brighton.
“If we can perform to the level we showed on Wednesday we’ve got a hell of a chance of winning that game. But we can’t dip below those standards. Just because it was Liverpool and they’re a top team we need to do that on Saturday as well.
“It’s a huge game.”
Although Liverpool are the bigger team, Bardsley feels today’s visit of Brighton is more important.
“I think so,” said the full back. “It’s a massive game, there’s no hiding away from it.
“It takes some big characters and some big players to perform.
“We’ll keep grafting, that’s what we’re all about. A good team, good squad and ready to fight for the cause and get out of predicament that we’ve been in for the last few weeks.”
Of his return to the line-up, Bardsley said: “I’ve been patient and waited for my chance and tried to keep in the best shape as possible physically.
“I’m delighted to be back in.”