Gudmundsson and Tarkowski return to Burnley squad

James Tarkowski
James Tarkowski
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Johann Berg Gudmundsson and James Tarkowski will return to contention for the trip to Crystal Palace.

Gudmundsson missed Monday night’s 2-1 defeat at home to Newcastle with a bug, while Tarkowski has sat out the last two games after a second hernia operation.

But both will be back available at Selhurst Park, with Tarkowski having come through a training game at the Barnfield Training Centre on Tuesday.

Dyche said: “Everyone is more or less back now.

“I don’t want to tempt fate, but Johann was sick the other night, he’ll be back in the thinking.

“Ben Gibson got a training game on Tuesday, as did Tarky. He’s on his way to full fitness. He’ll be in the thinking.

“Generally other people are getting sharper.

“Robbie (Brady) is getting sharper, Stephen Ward’s fitness continues to improve and the game readiness of all the players.

“Popey and Wardy are also making good progress but it’s still early.”

Brady made his second Premier League start in almost a year against the Magpies, and Dyche added: “It takes time for players. Approximately a year is a long time for a player to be out.

“We know he’s got quality, he can adapt and affect games. We know what he can do.”

Burnley and Crystal Palace are desperate for a result after a tough run.

And while Dyche accepts there is pressure with the situation they find themselves in in the table, he insists the most pressure comes from within the camp, to get back to their normal levels, and beyond: “There has to be a reality to the story and there certainly is with us.

“We have to compute what’s gone on this season with Europe etc and still not lose focus on the work on the grass, the level of training, level of commitment in the last couple of games.

“You look in their eyes on the training pitch and you think they’re ready to go.

“The way the players go about it is the right way to change your results.

“That’s the first market you look for.

“Are the players right physically?

“Tactically and technically, are they sharp, are they bright?

“It’s adding it all together, getting a performance and now and again you need a scratch of luck.

“No-one will ever put as much pressure on you as yourself.

“There’s always pressure, that’s the game that we’re in, equally it balances out with frustration.

“The belief has been strong here for a number of years.

“A lot of our performances this season have been very close. Last year we were on the right side of it.”

The transfer window will soon be upon us, with Burnley now equipped with a technical director in the shape of Mike Rigg.

Dyche is keen to add to his options but said: “It’s if you can get them. Mike Rigg has come in and given us a new set of thinking, new eyes, adding to the thought process on players.

“But we’re not looking for Mike to come in and miraculously hand over seven players.

“January is forever problematic for players. There are certainly people we are interested in but we will have to wait and see.”

On Rigg, he added: “It was a joint process with me and Mike Garlick. A big part of the role is in its different guises, here it will be to add depth and knowledge the recruitment side of things.

“That’s certainly the intention early on. To add to what we do in order to improve the recruitment process obviously.”