Coyle: We have lessons to learn
Burnley manager Owen Coyle acknowledged that his team will need to learn quickly after paying the price for two mistakes on their top-flight return. The promoted Clarets were beaten 2-0 at Stoke City in their Barclays Premier League opener after Ryan Shawcross scored with a header and Stephen Jordan netted at the wrong end.
The visitors then settled and produced some fine football in the second half, but it was not enough to salvage anything from an entertaining game at the Britannia Stadium. With Stoke's goals coming from familiar tactics - a free-kick and a Rory Delap throw-in - Coyle conceded his players should have done better.
The Scot said: "We were warned about the threat Stoke have and that is what is quite galling about it. We gave away a cheap free-kick and we know Shawcross is good in the air, and he was unmarked.
"That put us on the back foot, but we came out fighting until we shot ourselves in the foot with the long throw and the own goal. We had a mountain to climb from that point.
"There are a number of things we have learned," said Coyle. "The margins for error are minimal in the Premier League and I think that has been borne out. But we have shown we can offer a lot and compete at this level."
Despite the defeat, Coyle, who guided the east Lancashire club to victory in last year's Championship play-off final, was pleased with the manner of the performance. He added: "We are disappointed to leave with nothing. I thought we contributed a lot to the game and we certainly had enough goal-scoring opportunities.
"We passed the ball well and got behind Stoke on numerous occasions. We are disappointed with the goals we lost, there is no getting away from that," he said. "But we showed we are brave enough to commit players forward and I believe if we had got the goal in the second half we could have achieved certainly a draw."
Stoke were renowned for their direct style last season, with Delap's throws earning particular notoriety, but manager Tony Pulis offered no apologies.
"It was two set plays," Pulis said. "We'll be berated about that, but whichever way they come we'll take them. But winning at home, clean sheet, full house supporting us - that's a great start for us.
"We are pleased, you never know what you are going to get first game of the season."
Pulis also paid tribute to Burnley, who had several good opportunities to get back into the game after conceding in the 19th and 33rd minutes.
"I thought Burnley were smashing," he said. "Their supporters got behind them and they played some smashing football. We are delighted we won, but I just hope Burnley have a great season."
Pulis wanted to keep his side's victory in perspective after learning lessons from the Potters' successful first season in the top flight. He said: "The big thing is if you win you mustn't get too carried away with it, and if you lose you mustn't get too down.
"You have got to keep as level as you can. You can go six or seven games without winning in this league and then win three on the bounce and still be mid-table," Pulis said. " It is very important you keep focused."