Sean Dyche to continue Burnley's 'keeper rotation against Nice and Parma
(Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Sean Dyche continues to keep his cards close his chest with regard to the Burnley goalkeeping pecking order, suggesting that each stopper could be given a chance to impress in their two remaining friendlies.

Though Tom Heaton and Joe Hart, who both had stints as number one last season, have been linked with moves away while Nick Pope recently committed his future to the club, any one of the three could feasibly line-up between the sticks against Southampton on August  10.

Pope played the full 90 against Crewe Alexandra on July 20 while Heaton and Hart were restricted to a half each in the concurrent friendly against Port Vale.

However, after Pope picked up a minor groin injury, Hart started against Fleetwood Town three days later before watching on from the bench as Heaton guarded the net for Saturday's draw with Wigan Athletic.

'We will balance it out'

Burnley now only have two pre-season matches remaining - against Nice on Tuesday night and Parma on Saturday afternoon.

Dyche hinted that a provisional decision has been made, but his team selection may not reveal it. 

“We will balance it out with the keepers," he confirmed.

“Joe got 90 the other night so we will find that balance.”

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Asked whether he knows who his number one is, he replied “I might do!" with a grin.

“I thought Joe was excellent the other night (at Fleetwood), I really do, and I thought the crowd responded to it.

“He is a top keeper, as is Tom and Popey.

“It is a great challenge to have, but it is a challenge. Only one can play.”

Burnley step-up preparations

The Clarets have been looking to build their fitness and regain their sharpness against lower-league opposition thus far but now face sides from the top tiers of France and Italy.

Nice finished seventh in Ligue 1 last season, while Parma wound up 14th in Serie A on a points tally nearly identical to Burnley's after their 38-game season. 

Dyche is hopeful the tougher tests unlock another level from his team ahead of their season-opener.

“All the teams we have played offer a different challenge,” he added.

“I think we’ve delivered well. It’s not all about results, but it’s nice when you get results from good delivery of performance.

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“I think that’s been good so far and now we have two teams coming – slightly in advance of the others in terms of their make-up and the leagues they play in.

“It’s a different kind of challenge, but we are only looking towards getting ready for the big kick-off, that’s the main thing.”

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