Dyche on Barton boost for the Clarets
Sean Dyche admits Joey Barton's availability is an unexpected bonus.
Barton’s FA hearing into alleged betting offences at Wembley on Wednesday was adjourned, after the chief investigator fell ill.
The 34-year-old was due to face an FA commission, having asked for a personal hearing to answer a misconduct charge in lieu of 1,260 bets over a 10-year period.
A new date will be set in due course, and, until the commission sits, and any potential punishment is meted out, Barton will be available to play for Burnley.
That means he could be available to face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, and he is likely to be fit after being taken off late in the 3-2 defeat at Swansea City on Saturday with a tight hamstring.
as Dyche explained: “Joey was struggling with his hamstring a bit, obviously we don’t know what will happen (with the commission), but you can’t risk players on the verge of a possible injury.”.
And he is hopeful that decision will prove an inspired one in the circumstances: “Joey’s hamstring was tight and we didn’t want to take a chance.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen, but it looks a good decision now as he’s still available.
“It’s good he’s still available to us, he probably wants a bit of clarity on the situation, but it’s good for us, since he’s been fully fit he’s been back playing, and he has done a good job for us again.”
However, Steven Defour (hamstring) and Johann Berg Gudmundsson (knee) are unlikely to ready to face the Reds: “Steven has been training with us all week, but he’s not had a game in weeks now so we’ll wait and see on him.
“It’s hard to just throw him in, particularly at Anfield.
“We threw him in against Liverpool earlier in the season, but we were thin on the ground then and wouldn’t have wanted to put him straight in really. He found it tough going if you remember.
“And Johann won’t be fit, he’s still struggling with his knee. It’s settling down, but taking longer than we hoped.
“We have no other problems though.”
Skipper Tom Heaton is expected to return after missing the game at Swansea having fallen ill overnight, while striker Ashley Barnes returns after serving his one-match suspension.
On loan defender Jon Flanagan will, however, be unavailable to face his parent club Liverpool.