Dyche hopeful of Wood returning at Huddersfield

ecord signing Chris Wood has a chance of returning to face Huddersfield Town at the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday.

Wednesday, 27th December 2017, 11:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th December 2017, 11:30 am
Burnley's Chris Wood signing autographs before the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 26, 2017. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

The £15m striker missed the 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, after coming off against Spurs on Saturday after colliding with keeper Hugo Lloris.

Ashley Barnes performed superbly in his absence, scoring the opening goal and holding the ball up well, and Dyche said on Wood, asked if he was close to figuring at United: “Not close enough, he’s a maybe for Saturday. We’ll see how it settles down.

“But Barnesy has delivered. The squad’s mentality is so pleasing, I have massive respect for the players who aren’t playing all the time.

“They look after themselves, and if we get a knock, they’re willing to get on with it.”

While Dyche was without Tom Heaton, Stephen Ward, James Tarkowski, Robbie Brady and Wood at Old Trafford, Dean Marney was in the squad for the first time since January, and Jon Walters came on for his first Clarets action since August: “He’s still coming out the end of his injury period (Marney), Jon Walters as well, and these are pleasing signs about the group.

“Bodies should start coming back, it’s another game for Tarky, Wardy is doing nicely, Tom’s a big longer, but he’s on course. We, in theory, can get through this spell, and, on paper, the squad gets stronger again.”

Tarkowski serves the final game of his three-match suspension tomorrow.

But Kevin Long, after a testing evening against Spurs, was a stand-out performer at Old Trafford: “Really good. He had a tough one the other day, but look at Tottenham.

“On their day, they can hurt anyone, especially with (Harry) Kane in the form he’s in.

“That’s a big part of his and Charlie Taylor’s development, learning about the Premier League, but the mentality is so important, to go into the next game and say ‘that’s parked, we learn from it and move on’.

“I was really pleased with that.”