Lack of options a familiar feeling for Burnley boss Sean Dyche
Burnley's lack of strength in depth was underlined in Sunday's home defeat to Newcastle United.
While the Magpies were able to replace £40m Brazilian strike Joelinton and Dwight Gayle with a pair of £20m forwards in England international Callum Wilson and French winger Allan Saint-Maximin, Sean Dyche had no real options to change the game from the bench, and only made a change in injury time, bringing on young front man Joel Mumbongo.
Saint-Maximin proved the matchwinner, transforming the game within eight minutes of coming on, making Jacob Murphy's equaliser, before scoring a fine individual effort.
Dyche was without Jay Rodriguez, whose wife had gone into labour, and the injured Ashley Barnes and Robbie Brady, but it has been a tale of woe for some time, with Burnley's bench often made up with two goalkeepers and a bunch of promising young talent, rather than proven Premier League quality that can influence a game.
The Clarets' bench has yet to provide a goal or assist so far this season in the league - Matej Vydra's late leveller in the FA Cup third round against League 1 MK Dons is the only intervention from a substitute.
And Dyche looked at the difference between options: "I think it helped them (Newcastle) quite obviously. They had Callum Wilson coming on as well, and we haven't got those type of players fit at the moment.
"That's been a challenge all season, I don't think we've had a fully-fit squad since the season started.
"We are putting on young players trying to blood them, and they are putting on seasoned pros, and very good players.
"That clearly affected the game with two key moments.
"To be honest, I don’t think those two key players affected the rest of the game too much, that's football."
Asked about the lack of options, Dyche added: "I don't cry it in too much because they are young players and they get the chance to be involved and feel what it's like to be in the Premier League - that's a positive in itself - but often it is tricky.
"People often talk about me changing the team, but it is tricky when you look at some of the other teams and how they can change things off the bench.
"We have been limited this season, it's not a new thing, it has been a regular thing, but today was an obvious show of that."