Striker Jutkiewicz looking to force Dyche’s hand!

Lukas Jutkiewicz shields the ball from Sunderland's John O'Shea

Lukas Jutkiewicz shields the ball from Sunderland's John O'Shea

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Clarets striker Lukas Jutkiewicz is hoping to give boss Sean Dyche a headache over team selection in the coming weeks.

The 25-year-old returned to action as a 61st minute substitute in the 2-0 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, replacing leading scorer Danny Ings.

The former Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers forward had been sidelined since the Boxing Day loss to Liverpool at Turf Moor when sustaining a foot injury.

But after featuring on Wearside, Jutkiewicz has vowed to crank up the competition among the club’s striker’s union.

“It was nice,” he said. “My toe has healed now, it was just a case of not knowing whether it would open up or not. It seems to have healed quite well so it was nice to get back out there.

“There’s a lot of competition and it’s up to us to give the manager a bit of a headache. Hopefully I can do that.

“The competition is healthy and everybody goes about training in the right manner. It’s high tempo and intense all the time which works well for us.

“I want to try and get back in to the side and give the manager as big a headache as possible.”

Jutkiewicz hasn’t netted in a competitive fixture since May last year in a 2-2 draw for Bolton against Birmingham City at the Macron Stadium.

Now he’s determined to replicate the goalscoring exploits of his team-mates, with Danny Ings and Ashley Barnes both opening their accounts in England’s top tier this term.

“I want to go out there and perform as well as I can for my team mates and for the club as a whole,” Jutkiewicz said.

“It’s just a case of doing whatever you can to help the team - whether it’s scoring a goal, getting an assist or working hard. You’ve got to do whatever you can to help the side pick up points.

“Naturally I’m really eager (to get that first goal) as any striker would be.”

Meanwhile, though results elsewhere worked in favour of the Clarets at the weekend, Jutkiewicz has warned that they’ll have to look after themselves if they’re to avoid dropping in to the division’s bottom three.

After goals from Connor Wickham and Jermain Defoe condemned the Clarets to a third successive defeat in all competitions, Jutkiewicz said: “It’s important to analyse it and try to figure out the reasons for why it went the way it did. We’ll use that in a positive manner and move on to Sunday.

“You can look at it in two ways. We’ve missed out on the opportunity to pull away but on the other hand nobody has really gained any ground. It’s important that we take care of our own fixtures though, come back in to the changing room with a win and then look at results elsewhere.”

Ahead of Sunday’s clash with West Brom on home soil, he added: “The most important thing is for the team to pick up some points and try to get to safety - whatever that points haul is going to be. We need to inch our way closer to that.

“It’s too early to tell how many points we’ll need because it’s different every year. Ultimately you have to look to your next game and try to add three more points to your tally.

“There’s a lot of teams in and around it and there’ll be a lot of teams feeling the pressure week after week. Hopefully we can put the pressure on the teams above us.”