Boss Vincent Kompany looking forward to announcing a clean bill of health at Burnley
The Clarets' squad is expected to be close to full health after the international break in readiness for the final nine games of the season.Defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis featured twice for the club's Under 21s, in games against Barnsley and Sheffield United, and is in contention to make the 18-man squad when the Championship leaders take on Sunderland at Turf Moor on March 31.The Young Lions skipper has been out of action since the start of January having hobbled off in the 4-2 win over AFC Bournemouth in the third round of the FA Cup at the Vitality Stadium."What I would like to see now is a full squad to give me difficult decisions to make, and that usually gives you an extra boost because there's so much competition," Kompany told the Burnley Express."There are no two ways about it then; if you give up there's another person playing instead of you, who isn't going to look back, but if you push and you keep battling then you're going to make the other guy play better by putting the pressure on so he performs more. I'm looking forward to that kicking in again."Belgian winger Manuel Benson appeared just before the campaign paused intermittently, getting 20 minutes under his belt away at Hull City after missing eight league games and three cup ties with a foot injury.Darko Churlinov is now fully recovered from illness and scored in North Macedonia's 2-1 win over Malta in Group C of the UEFA Euro 24 qualifiers on Thursday evening, but striker Jay Rodriguez still requires a little more time to get back up to speed.Kompany said: "I would love to have had more competition so that when Anass [Zaroury] has a bad game then someone else starts the next game or when Josh Cullen has a bad game you put somebody else in. I think it's important. I think we've got that in a lot of positions."I'd rather have a team of guys who are at a similar level and compete with each other than three/four/five positions who know they'll start whether they've trained well or not."With Hjalmar Ekdal, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Lyle Foster and Michael Obafemi joining during the winter transfer window, this could be the biggest pot of gold Burnley's four-time Manager of the Month winner has had to pick from.And the 36-year-old is hoping the swelling of numbers within his group, and the added competition for places, will generate some healthy habits for his Premier League bound title contenders."It can go both ways; it could go very wrong or it could create healthy habits," the Manchester City legend concluded. "At 31 I'd sometimes be on the bench and I'd never really experienced that when I was younger because I was always playing."I think I would've reacted differently when I was younger, but you come to a place where you have a lot of respect for the guy who's playing instead of you, because he's a good player and he's got good habits."You either give up and you start sulking, but then you know at the end of the season you'll be the one gone, because the gap is only going to get bigger."Or you can be patient and know that you're going to get your opportunity and when you get it you realise that you're actually at a much higher level than you were before because you've had to be."