Burnley left back a doubt for visit of Crystal Palace

Left back Charlie Taylor has added to Sean Dyche’s injury worries as Burnley look for a first Premier League win of the season.
Charlie TaylorCharlie Taylor
Charlie Taylor

The Clarets entertain Crystal Palace on Monday evening, boasting only two points from their first seven games.

But one of Burnley’s most consistent performers has missed a chunk of training this week with a hamstring issue.

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Dyche explained: “We normally give the lads a complete break for a number of days at this stage, but we haven’t this time, because of the lockdown, we thought we had a window with the players and might as well use it wisely and top up a few days.

“And we’ve tried to give some of the injured players and their bodies a chance.

“Erik (Pieters) is back in training, which is good.

“But Charlie Taylor has a minor situation on a hamstring, which we’re monitoring. We have to be careful with him.

“We just had to pull him out for a few days with a bit of tightness.

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Robbie Brady we’re waiting on, hopefully it’s not too serious – he came off with a tight groin on Wednesday night, so we’re hoping that’s nothing.

“We’ll find out more, but we’re hopeful it’s not too serious, same with Johann (Berg Gudmundsson), his groin was a bit sore, so hopefully that will settle down as well.

“Obviously with the Monday game, it gives us a couple more days to get them recovered.

“Dale (Stephens) isn’t training yet, with his hamstring, but Bardo (Phil Bardsley) is right, he’s back in training.”

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And midfielder Jack Cork, whose last game came at Palace at the end of June, suffering an ankle problem which required surgery, is still returning to full fitness: “Corky is making progress but he still has a bit to go yet.

“He’s still just with the rehab team, making a bit of progress on the general fitness side of things, but he’s not training with the team yet.”

Much has been made of the lack of a sufficient break between the delayed end of last season and start of this, and an increase in the number of injuries, prompting calls for a return to the use of five substitutes from nine – which the EFL have returned to this week.

Dyche can see both sides of the argument, but feels that would only benefit the elite clubs: “Does it favour the bigger clubs? Yes it would, because they have bigger squads.

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“But in balance, I totally understand physically, if we had a bigger squad, then I would be saying ‘yeah, let’s do it’.

“But if you have 25 internationals, it favours you, because you can use more of those players more often.

“Equally, they are in so many competitions, so there is that balance.

“Our view, is we don’t carry anywhere near the number of players, so it puts a stretch on the squad, while it enhances the bigger clubs, who are replacing players with thoroughbreds.

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"The injury numbers - there's a big debate on that. How come there are more injuries...is it just game time, I don't know. Availability generally?

"I remember players winning titles and playing in Europe and playing 65 games a year, so I don't know.

"The medicine is getting even more detailed, players needing a rest. If you tell them all the time they need a rest, eventually they will believe they do.

"It's a delicate balance, but the game is more high-powered physically, there is more outside stress, with the media streams, which puts more weight on them as individuals."

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But Dyche admits physical output is down across the league: “We’ve had a mixed bag of stats, some really high games and moderate games – both teams – probably linked to the effect of not having crowds.

“So the physicality of the Premier League is slightly lower than normal, but we have had some quite high games as well, kilometre-wise.

“I don’t think you’ll really know until the halfway point, when we’ll get a good view of the physical side of it.”