Defour named in Belgium squad

Steven Defour
Steven Defour

Steven Defour is again in the Belgium squad for next week's games with Holland and Estonia, despite not kicking a ball for Burnley for three weeks.

Defour came off during the first half of the 3-1 defeat at Southampton with a hamstring problem, which forced him out of the 2-1 home win over Everton.

He returned to full training ahead of the trip to Old Trafford, but wasn't risked, and Sean Dyche is pleased with that decision, with the former Anderlecht man in line for a return at home to Crystal Palace tomorrow.

But while Dyche is pleased to see his players receive international recognition, with Defour, who is yet to complete 90 minutes the Clarets, he admits time spent working on his fitness would be of benefit as well: "it's a fine balance making sure he's properly fit.

"So not playing last weekend and getting the relevant work in to make sure when he comes back we can use the days wisely...

“It's hard to work on fitness constantly because two international windows he's gone away. That's your best window to affect fitness. The first three windows are great times.

“We want him called up for his well being as a player and individual, but for getting him ready to play in the Premier League, it would have been very useful to have him here so he's not playing catch up all the time.

“I said when he first came, the first thing he'd need to align himself with was the physicality of the Premier League.

"That's often why some of the foreign players take longer to adjust, because it's all a bit quick and constant.

“The European style of football – not always, but quite often – is a bit slower, more method based, more delayed tactical approach. The Premier League is tactical but it's faster, it can be in your face, dropping to counter...there is a difference.

“Quite obviously he can play technically and understands the game. The physicality is the thing that quite often catches some of the players out.

"We haven't used many foreign players but when I speak to other managers that's what they say, that's why it takes some of them a bit longer to get their bearings almost."

But Dyche is pleased with the way he has settled, and how he has embraced the culture at the club: “I think he can deal with the Premier League, technically and tactically, and I think physicality is the one he'll grow into dealing with.

“There's no guarantees though. If you look around the market, some of the numbers spent on different players and some of the ones it hasn't worked for...it just shows there are no guarantees.

“He knows the requirement, he knows what he needs but still no guarantees.

“With his age and with his experience, I would have been surprised if he couldn't at least adjust to the group. We've got a really good group of people here, let alone footballers. It's quite easy for players to come in and adapt, get used to things.

"That's quite a big thing. It all has to be supported by 'life', just working in your group every day, your wife, your children and whatever. It's all part of your journey.

“it's been good for him, he's adapted very quickly to a group that is very open.”