Brady withdrawn as Clarets are held

Sam Vokes goes close
Sam Vokes goes close
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Sean Dyche said on Thursday that the two remaining friendlies against Montpellier and Espanyol “are now about getting people through them.”

But the withdrawal of Robbie Brady four minutes before half-time in the goalless draw against the French side on Sunday will have given him cause for concern.

Dyche made 10 changes from Thursday’s Europa League first leg at Aberdeen, with only Jeff Hendrick remaining in the side, though there was a welcome glimpse of Brady, making his second start of pre-season.

However, Brady would be withdrawn four minutes from the break, presumably not part of the script.

Brady had the first effort of note, his sixth-minute free kick requiring just a touch, before almost creeping inside the far post anyway, keeper Benjamin Lecomte palming the ball to safety.

Paul Lasne tried his luck for Montpellier, seeing a 25-yarder turned away by Adam Legzdins, while Thursday’s goal hero Sam Vokes attempted a repeat of his turn and volley at Pittodrie, only to this time fire just over, as skipper Kevin Long headed a Brady corner towards the penalty spot.

There was little of incident in a low key first half, though a terrific run down the right from Aiden O’Neill injected some life into proceedings - his low cross ultimately being cleared.

Legzdins made a comfortable save low to his right from Isaac Mbenza, before Brady was replaced by Dwight McNeil, a cause for concern just before half-time.

Vokes couldn’t quite get the finishing touch to a Charlie Taylor cross just after the break, while Jon Walters came the closest yet to opening the scoring, his fierce low volley cleared off the line by Pedro Mendes, after Ambroise Oyongo appeared to handle another Taylor centre.

The impressive O’Neill continued to prompt and probe, but Burnley crafted few openings for all their pressure.

Long headed wide of the far post from McNeil’s inswinging free kick with 15 minutes remaining, while Mbenza sent a free kick just over from 25 yards, before substitute Giovanni Sio stung Legzdins hands with a shot after Burnley struggled to clear, and the game finished goalless.

Burnley: Legzdins; Bardsley, Long, Dunne, Taylor; Walters, O’Neill, Hendrick (Goodridge 60), Brady (McNeil 41); Barnes (Wells 60) Vokes (Agyei 70).

Subs: Trialist (McMahon), Tarkowski, Cork, Lennon, Wood, Gudmundsson, Ward, Lowton, Westwood, Koiki.