Burnley's preparations for key games set to be affected by Covid

Burnley's preparations for a crucial few days of the season are likely to be affected by Covid.

Sunday, 9th January 2022, 12:30 pm
Chris Wood

The Clarets host Leicester City on Saturday, with Watford the visitors three days later, with the Clarets two points adrift of the Hornets in the last relegation place in the Premier League.

However, as with the FA Cup defeat against Huddersfield Town, training will be hampered by the availability of staff and players.

Ian Woan took the reins against the Terriers, with Sean Dyche and first team coach Steve Stone absent after testing positive for Covid, while two analysts, two physios and the kit man were hit.

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Burnley trained with 16 players on Thursday, two of which were Ashley Barnes and Connor Roberts, who are not yet considered fit for selection after injury and illness.

Nick Pope and Josh Brownhill returned to the side against Huddersfield after being out for two games due to Covid, but, including illness and injiury, Woan was without Charlie Taylor, Erik Pieters, Dwight McNeil, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Nathan Collins, Matej Vydra and back up keeper Will Norris, with Maxwel Cornet away at the African Cup of Nations.

And Chris Wood also picked up a groin problem and was forced off at half-time.

The Clarets had 12 senior outfield players available against Tow, with seven on the bench, including keeper Wayne Hennessey and four youngsters.

Woan said of Wood: "He felt his groin, it was touch and go. In the current climate we can’t be gambling too much with our centre forwards, Vyds is down with Covid and carrying with a slight hernia.

"Barnes is a few weeks away, Cornet away, so we have to be really cautious with our centre forwards.

"Young McGlynn was our only option.

"It's a no-excuse environment, but we are super stretched this week, the manager, the coach, six players with Covid, two or three with injuries, Cornet away, so you're at your very limit.

"We have to keep believing in what we do and hopefully get some bodies back for the next couple of weeks."

And asked about the importance of the next two games, Woan added: "It's going to be not until later in the week we find out if we are going to get the bodies back.

"We just have to keep working and believing in what we do.

"It is year on year, we have been in this position before, we just have to keep believing."