Dyche wants a sharper Cornet

Sean Dyche is hoping to get top-scorer Maxwel Cornet back up to speed for the run-in.

By Chris Boden
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 8:00 am

After suffering a foot injury in the victory at Brighton three weeks ago, the 25-year-old missed the win over Spurs four days later.He was an unused subsitute at Crystal Palace, before the Ivory Coast international started the defeat at home to Leicester, but he was back on the bench against Chelsea on Saturday.A combination of a thigh problem suffered at Newcastle in early December, COVID and the Africa Cup of Nations saw him miss four games before returning against Watford five weeks ago.But his immediate impact, scoring six in his first 10 Premier League appearances, has been dimmed, with his last strike coming in the 3-1 loss at Leeds at the turn of the year.The former Lyon man also started only one of the Elephants’ four outings at AFCON, the opening group game victory over Equatorial Guinea, and Dyche is eager to get the best out of the £12.5m summer signing in the remaining 12 games of the season, as the Clarets fight the drop.Cornet did impress as a second half substitute against Chelsea, and Dyche explained: “We’ve started him in a few games, and the challenge is when you have so many games, how do you get them fit in between?“Usually you use the inbetweens of games to do extra work to top up.“He’d had too many days off when he came back from AFCON – agreed days off by the way – but the risk and reward of having days off, between the work you need to be fit, when he hadn’t played too much at AFCON, or before he went there.”Cornet is physically fit ahead of tomorrow’s crucial trip to Brentford, but it is that sharpness to perform at this level Dyche is after: “Like I say, you’ve got to remember it’s Premier League fit, he’s a fit guy, but it’s that real sharpness.“Wout (Weghorst) has come in and he’s got that, that true, deep fitness, and he’s showing that with his performances and his energy, so it’s getting Maxwel fit and sharp, but he’s getting there.“People forget with Max that we have been trying to get him fit, as in Premier League fit, so it is how many times you play him.“He looked sharper when he came on on Saturday than he did when he started the other day (against Leicester), so credit to him for that.”Burnley ended Saturday’s 4-0 defeat at home to against Chelsea with Cornet and Ashley Barnes up front, with the game long gone, as Dyche took the opportunity to give January signing Weghorst a bit of a rest: “We took Wout off just to save him because he has run miles for us.“Once you are three or four down your brain is thinking differently, really you are thinking about who you need to protect and what can we get from this game.”

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BURNLEY, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Maxwel Cornet of Burnley warms up prior to the Premier League match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor on March 05, 2022 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)