Break will come at good time for walking wounded

Robbie Brady trudges off at half time. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Robbie Brady trudges off at half time. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
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Clarets boss Sean Dyche believes the international break will come at a good time for his walking wounded.

Dyche was without Johann Berg Gudmundsson, and longer term casualties Steven Defour and Robbie Brady for last night’s Europa League play-off second leg with Olympiakos.

And the trio won’t feature against Manchester United at Turf Moor on Sunday.

Burnley will have a fortnight before their next game, however, as the Nations League kicks off, and Brady will step up his fitness over the break: “I think it’s come at a good time for Robbie, and for Johann, not for their countries, for the international scene, but for us.

“It gives Robbie another couple of weeks in which there’s no game, in which he could be considered for, and Johann to get over his injury.

“There are a couple of other niggly ones as well, that have sort of been drifting along...Steven has another couple of weeks without a game as well.

“It’s another couple of weeks with his rehab you almost get for free, if you like.

“Robbie will play with the Under 23s, he’s already played two 45 minutes – the good thing is he doesn’t go back to square one.

“His fitness is good. He’s only had a couple of niggly injuries, it’s not like he’s missed weeks and weeks.

“He missed a few days, trained, missed a few days, so his general fitness is good, it’s just that ground-in match fitness and sharpness, which is what he’ll be looking for.”

Stephen Ward has been substituted in all three Premier League games to date, and Dyche explained: “Just ongoing, there’s a few players carrying ongoing things that we have to keep an eye on, and the game schedule makes that more difficult, obviously.

“We’re at game nine when most are at game four so that is nound to affect things.

“The ideal scenario was, when we mapped it out at the end of last season, to get the players fit you think are fit, you obviously allow for a couple of injuries by the nature of football, but we’ve had more than we probably thought.

“Then the market - if that is all put together, then it would have been a fantastic situation to have two teams that could really challenge on both sides.

“But because they never quite fell in , and we had more injuries than we expected, and you didn’t get all you wanted in the market, all of a sudden it’s a big challenge. That’s all that’s happened.

“The perfect plan in football is very difficult.”

But there could be departures before the EFL window closes at 5 p.m. today, with Jon Walters a likely outgoing: “There’s talk of Jon.

“A couple of clubs have been in contact, so we’ll see where that goes.”