Burnley striker Chris Wood - club need to tie down 'irreplacable' stars

Top scorer Chris Wood feels the club must sort out the future of a number of "irreplacable" Burnley stars.
Chris Wood scores his 13th goal of the season at NorwichChris Wood scores his 13th goal of the season at Norwich
Chris Wood scores his 13th goal of the season at Norwich

Having seen Jeff Hendrick leave Turf Moor after failing to agree a new contract, while Joe Hart, Aaron Lennon and Adam Legzdins were released, Sean Dyche's side have battled on through the restart, losing only one of their eight fixtures.

Many outside the club feared for Burnley as they were beaten 5-0 by Manchester City in their first game back after lockdown, fielding only seven of the permitted nine substitutes, including two goalkeepers.

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But the players have rallied, and are now unbeaten in seven, extending their pre-lockdown form to one defeat in 15 games.

However, a number of key players are now in the last year of their contracts, and Wood has urged the club to act now to keep the squad together.

Next summer, Jack Cork, Ashley Westwood, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Matt Lowton, Robbie Brady, Phil Bardsley and Kevin Long are all out of contract, while captain Ben Mee, Jay Rodriguez, Matej Vydra and Erik Pieters are also technically coming to the end of their deals, although there is an option for an extra year in the club's favour with those four.

And Wood, who has 13 Premier League goals for the season after his opener at Norwich - becoming the first Burnley player to hit that mark in the top flight since Ray Hankin and Peter Noble in 1975/76 - said: "The squad's done extremely well, a lot of injuries in the last few weeks, losing players on contract negotiations, which isn't great, but we have a good core group here.

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"We need to keep every single player here hopefully, and tie down the boys that are running low on their deals because they are vital.

"They are irreplaceable."

With one game to go, at home to Brighton on Sunday, Wood and his teammates aren't thinking of a break just yet, with some personal incentives to finish strongly.

Wood would love to add to his goal tally, while Nick Pope has a share of the Golden Gloves with Ederson of Manchester City.

Wood said: "It's not hard to motivate ourselves, we have team goals, individual goals, working hard for Popey to keep clean sheets, wins - there's a lot we want to achieve.

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"I don't see motivation as a problem, just breaking teams down, which is always tough.

"We have a record number of wins, so that's fantastic.

"Personally, it's lovely [to score more goals in a Premier League season than any Burnley player].

"You always go out there to score. We want to finish as high as possible. We want the same performance - solid, hard-working and we'll see what we can do [against Brighton]. Hopefully we can get the win.

"As a team, we will be fighting like hell for him [Nick Pope]. He is an outstanding keeper. I think he is the best in England. Hopefully we can get one more for him to get a share, at least, of the Golden Glove."