Burnley gameplan “won’t radically change” with Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra

Sean Dyche doesn’t think Burnley will have to “radically change” the way they play in the absence of Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes.

Burnley are likely to be without what has been Dyche’s preferred pairing for the best part of two years against Bournemouth tomorrow.

Wood has a hamstring problem, and Barnes is close to returning after hernia surgery.

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The Clarets play early and often to the pair, with 22% of the team’s passes classed as long balls - the highest percentage in the Premier Division.

Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra offer a more technical option, although Rodriguez is more than useful in the air as well, and the pair combined to good effect in the win at Southampton last weekend.

Dyche hopes to see the pair gel naturally, as well as within the side’s gameplan, against their Cherries: “I think the thing you’re working towards during the training we do, the varying practices we do, these connections occur, and when they’re called upon to deliver on a match day, then they can do.

“The hardest thing with strikers is it has to be semi-fluid, as they’re working it out, but you’ve got to guide it as well.

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“A lot of strikers I’ve played with and worked with often find their way, and if you prompt them too much, it often takes them off their style.

“I think we guide them, I hope to, enough between the collective of them, to know how we want them to work, but equally step away enough to leave them to go and play.

“For example, last week, I said to Vyds ‘just go and play’, there was no ‘do this, do that’.

“‘Just go and be active, go and play, play your natural game.’

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“And I thought he did.

“This week there’s been a little bit more guidance, but not too much.

“There’s a number of players can play in behind Jay Rod - it’s fair to say he’s laid a bit of a mark down - and Vyds did last week.

“We’ve got to make sure we make the right decisions for the collective, not just for Vyds.”

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Dyche will still look for that mixed style of football, even with Rodriguez and Vydra offering more options within the build-up play: “We don’t have to radically change, we still want to mix the game up, mix the play, there are varying forms of that.

“They are different, but the game plan of the side isn’t going to have a radical shift, players, you forget, are football-wise, football-bright, so they look at the people they play with and understand different roles and styles, so it doesn’t always have to be prompted by me.

“They understand, as they work with these players on a daily basis, the nuances and little twists and turns of people’s positioning and understanding of the connection between players on the pitch.

“I think sometimes you have to allow that balance between footballers having their own thoughts and delivering their own thoughts - you can sort of coach a connection out of someone, rather than into them, so we’re quite mindful of that.”

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One of Rodriguez’s big assets is his versatility his ability to play anywhere across the front, or drop off and link play, and Dyche admitted: “Jay has been very open-minded through his career, I think he’s a hard-working professional and will take on any challenge, not so much here, but he’s come off the left, come from the right, played off the front, played high and long like a number nine.

“He’s got a variation to his game. But Vyds has that as well. He made his name running off the shoulder at Watford, and then adapted slightly more as he got more mature, and came off the line a little bit more and worked into the wide areas a little bit more.

“Two quote fluid centre forwards, so if they play Saturday, it will be interesting to see if they strike up a connection as they did at Southampton.”

Dyche has insisted Vydra was knocking on the door for sometime, despite his lack of opportunities, he smiled: “One day you’ll believe me! I know people were trying to get him out of the building!

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“I said it’s highly unlikely he goes anywhere!

“Joking apart, the lads here stick at it and get their reward for that, I can’t make it any more simple.

“Some clubs possibly have players that don’t always find their feet and that drive and will, some managers tell me that, but here, predominantly we have players who work very hard, through the training schedule, and they’re ready.

“When their chance comes, most deliver, then they’ve got every chance of staying in the team, or being in your mind that if they’re on the bench, they’re the first you go to.

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“I think we’ve got a really good group for doing that, everyone’s alive and ready at any given moment.”

Vydra certainly looked ready at St Mary’s, and Dyche added: “He’d had a couple of times he’d been on and it hadn’t gone quite as well, he hadn’t been as sharp - by his own admission by the way - I said ‘just relax, train right and get ready, because you’re doing everything right in training’, hence last week when I said ‘just go out and play’.

“It’s not a bad thing for a player to get that advice, rather than 50 different things and their brain is spinning.

“Just take on the challenge, and he did.”