With several first-team players missing the trip to Swansea City this weekend, Burnley manager Sean Dyche has admitted to the club website, “sometimes you don’t want a break but on this occasion, because of the injuries, a break is important to us." The Clarets will have a fortnight away from action after exiting the FA Cup.
Duo "feeling better"
Dyche added, "we think there will be players in that two-week period to hopefully finish off the end of their injury periods and get back in the squad."
Competitive football may not be on the cards during that fortnight but Under-23 and friendly action could assist several players with their return from their sidelines. Dyche explained, "we will try to get games planned accordingly so they can get a game in, or maybe 75 minutes, for that match feel.”
James Tarkowski and Chris Wood will miss the trip to Wales but are both "feeling better" after recent knocks. “They are active on the grass every day and when they get to that stage, barring any slip-ups that usually blends back into full training and once they are full in training they start to get considered again."
"I believe in the group"
Goalkeeper and captain Tom Heaton is back in full training but still several weeks away from a return to action. Jon Walters, Robbie Brady and Dean Marney are also gradually making progress after long periods on the treatment table, whilst Steven Defour underwent knee surgery that is likely to keep him out for the rest of the season.
Dyche explained, “the surgeon and Steven are both really pleased with it, which is hopefully a nice positive mindset to carry on from the injury.”
Phil Bardsley picked up a hamstring injury last weekend but Stephen Ward is in the squad for the trip to Wales after coming through an Under-23 match on Monday unscathed.
Yet Dyche is determined not to use injuries as an excuse for Burnley's recent dip in form. He concluded, "there’s life in a side who give everything and we give everything. I believe in the group. I’m not crying it in about the injuries."