Vincent Kompany said David Fofana offered Burnley “something different” after the on-loan Chelsea striker came on to salvage a point in a 2-2 draw with Fulham.
Burnley looked destined to lose their tenth of 12 home games this season after Fulham took control with two goals in five first-half minutes from Joao Palhinha and Rodrigo Muniz – the Brazilian scoring his first Premier League goal.
But Fofana, making his home debut, came off the bench just after the hour and headed Burnley back into the game in the 71st minute before scoring an equalizer in the first minute of stoppage time – two goals in 20 minutes, marking his comeback 17 minutes corresponds to appearances for Union Berlin during his last loan move.
“We can use all the help we can get and David showed today that he’s giving us something different and we’re going to need it,” Kompany said.
“I haven’t spent a second talking to him about what he did in the Premier League or at Chelsea. But he played in the Bundesliga, which is a very, very tough league, and he is a player who comes back with a lot of experience.”
All three of Burnley’s January signings featured, with Lorenz Assignon making his debut and Maxime Esteve, also a deadline day substitute, coming on at half-time to bolster a defense that was struggling in the 17th and 21st. minute was too easy to break through.
“I think that was a turning point for us, the performance of Fofana, the performance of Maxime Esteve, the performance of Assignon and the other players who came off the bench, that was a turning point for us,” Kompany said. “We have to have that week in, week out.”
Burnley, still seven points from safety, have found themselves on the wrong side of drama of late but this result ended a run of 19 Premier League games in which conceding a goal had meant defeat for the Clarets.
“That’s what football is made for,” said Kompany. “In the first half we didn’t start badly at all, but out of nowhere we’re 1-0 down, and from even less behind we’re 2-0 down, and then in the first half there was no real momentum We didn’t really get going with that.
“But at half-time I saw a team that had character and passion and wanted to fight. The boys tried each other out, five minutes later they were sitting together ready to blow their socks off and got their reward.”
While Burnley celebrated, Fulham rued what appeared to be a golden opportunity to end a winless away streak stretching back to the opening day of the season and a winless league run at Turf Moor dating back to 1951.
“There is of course frustration in our dressing room that we lost two points this afternoon,” said Marco Silva.
“Up until the moment they scored 2-1, we were the best team on the pitch. We could have made it 3-0 instead of 2-1 if the exceptional goalkeeper hadn’t kept them in the game.
“We lost two points because they punished the mistakes, this is not the first time this has happened.
“At this level you have to be stronger. Anyone who makes mistakes will of course be punished. We played so well for 70 minutes, but you can’t switch off and be as naive as we were.”