Burnley boss Sean Dyche easing young talent into action despite lack of numbers

Sean Dyche will continue to ease his young talents into senior football, despite Burnley's squad being stretched through injury.

Already this season, Dyche has handed Premier League debuts to Jimmy Dunne, Josh Benson and Joel Mumbongo, while Anthony Glennon and Bobby Thomas have also featured in the cups.

A number of other youngsters have made the bench in the last two seasons, including Richard Nartey, Anthony Gomez-Mancini, Mace Goodridge, Lewis Richardson and Max Thompson, who came on at Manchester City in June.

Dyche currently has six senior players out injured, and every senior outfield player, at some stage this season, has missed at least one game through injury.

Joel Mumbongo

But with clubs now allowed to use three of nine substitutes, he prefers to fill the bench with youth products, rather than leave it short of bodies.

Swedish forward Mumbongo, 22, was the only substitute used on Saturday, coming on for Jay Rodriguez for the last eight minutes as Burnley looked to find a breakthrough against 10-man West Brom, and Dyche accepts he would have preferred to have been able to make changes earlier: “I would have brought on an extra attacker earlier, but it’s fair to say we are stretched.

“Joel is doing great and has been part of the group, but he’s a young kid really, it’s his first look at football at this level, so we’re asking a lot of these lads if we’re throwing them on a Premier League pitch at this stage in their development.

“We’ve got to be mindful of that, part of their development is not to be thrown in too early. Great in a way, don’t get me wrong, great in a way he’s getting around it and a feel for it, experience of the level, but I’m not expecting too much out of the young players, to turn the corner for us or anything like that."

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Dwight McNeil - still only 21 - has been a regular starter in the first team since December 2018, making 93 appearances in total now, and was the last youth product to establish himself at senior level, but Dyche noted: "Dwight had been with us a long, long time, training and working with us, before I put him in. Some of these lads have come out of nowhere really.

“I personally don’t believe it’s relevant to not put people on the bench, we try and fill the bench, and and the minute we’re filling it with as many players as we can."