Burnley boss Sean Dyche prepared for shortened pre-season

The start date of the 2020/21 Premier League season is expected to be confirmed imminently.
Sean DycheSean Dyche
Sean Dyche

The weekend starting September 12 is the date which has been pencilled in, and while clubs wait for that to be rubber-stamped, Sean Dyche admits pre-season preparations could be similar to those for the restart.

Normally, Burnley would return to training, after ending the season in mid-May, at the start of July, having had roughly six weeks off.

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The players would return to testing and then training - including the infamous Gaffer's Day - and often play a first friendly game after a couple of weeks, playing as many as five or six games before the start of the season.

However, time won't permit such a schedule after the late finish of this season after the three-month pause amid the pandemic.

Ahead of the restart, amid three weeks of training, Burnley played a 3x30-minute game at Barnfield with Wigan and a 90-minute run out at Turf Moor behind closed doors against Preston, before returning at Manchester City.

But Dyche feels the players are at such levels of fitness that, even with two or three weeks off, they won't need much time to get back up to speed for the new season.

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He said: "We are waiting on that agreed start date, and once we get that we can work backwards.

"Hopefully there will be enough of a period to at least allow them a break and some down time.

"I appreciate that some will argue that lockdown was down time, but it is not the same, it is not a break, it is not going away with the family, or on the beach with the kids.

"They haven't had that. If they can get a break then that will be beneficial.

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"And after cramming in such a lot of games into such a short period, mentally and physically there is a high demand for that, and so a break would be very, very helpful before we restart and get ready for the new season."

Asked about the design of pre-season, Dyche added: "It could be similar (to pre-lockdown).

"It depends on the timescales involved, but it could be similar where it is two-three weeks of prep.

"The only balance physically is that because you have come out of a heavy games period, you are not going to need such a long break as in for the body to get fit again.

"If you have a mini break you are not going to 'de-fit'.

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"At this level, with the fitness of these players, that would take a number of weeks.

"So if it was just a couple of weeks and they had some down time, it wouldn't take a long period to get them back up to where they need to be."

Often Dyche likes to take his players away for a camp, using Ireland and mainland Europe previously, but Dyche admitted: "We will have to wait and see.

"We are looking at some provisional ideas on that, but without dates we can't book anything."