Handful of Clarets make welcome return to action in friendly against Blackpool

Tom Heaton and Dean Marney both played the whole game after lengthy spells on the sidelines.

Handful of Clarets make welcome return to action in friendly against Blackpool
Heaton dislocated his shoulder in this clash (photo: Getty Images / Paul Ellis)

Burnley captain Tom Heaton made a welcome return to action on Monday evening as he played a full 90 minutes in a friendly against Blackpool.

Several first-team players play a part

With no FA Cup game last weekend, Sean Dyche's side have been able to concentrate on building the fitness of returning players as they look to turn around a run of ten games without a victory.

Heaton played his first full game since dislocating his shoulder five months ago but conceded a penalty in the first minute. Jay Spearing stepped up to convert the spot-kick but Heaton looked sharp throughout the rest of the contest.

Dean Marney also featured for the whole 90 minutes, as did Nakhi Wells who has been struggling for fitness since his move to Turf Moor last summer. Chris Wood enjoyed 70 minutes of action to bolster Dyche's attacking options, whilst Stephen Ward and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou played the entire game as a strong Burnley side fought back to earn a draw in the final seconds of the contest.

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Could Portugal trip make a difference?

The Burnley squad have just returned from five days of warm weather training in Portugal as they look to turn their recent fortunes around.

Striker Sam Vokes believes the Clarets benefitted from the trip to the Algarve. “It was great to get away with the lads and have a few days of tough training as well as some downtime. It was a chance to recharge our batteries and now is the time to come back with two important home games and pick up some results.”

The Welshman believes that Burnley's current poor form is not as bad as it seems but they are keen to pick up three points against Southampton on Saturday. "We say we’re on a bad run of results but we’re still seventh in the Premier League, so it’s not a majorly bad thing. But for us it’s important we get back to performing well and picking up results."