Number of challenges for Burnley boss Sean Dyche ahead of Premier League return
Clarets boss Sean Dyche has a number of personnel issues ahead of the return to Premier League action.
Burnley resume their campaign at Manchester City on Monday night, and are likely to be without strikers Ashley Barnes and Chis Wood, and winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
And the situation with the club’s out of contract players has yet to be resolved, leaving the availablity of Jeff Hendrick, Phil Bardsley, Aaron Lennon and Joe Hart up in the air.
Throw in that those members of the Under 23s squad who have been out on loan also won’t be eligible, and Dyche’s options for filling the extended nine-man bench – of which five can be used in three windows – are limited.
Dyche admitted: “Our lads have come back fit and well, they’re energised, but we have a couple of challenges with injuries to Barnesy, Woody and Johann.
“We’re not sure on timescales with them yet.
“And there’s the contract situations, which haven’t been sorted out by the club, the chairman hasn’t finalised those situations, so that’s tricky for us.”
Out of contract players across the Premier League and Championship have had four options – refuse to play on, for fear of injury scuppering any potential move; play on to the end of June; agree to play until the end of the season, or agree a new contract altogether.
Dyche added: “We’ll wait and see, I advised what I felt was correct 18 months ago, and again six months ago, before all this, and here we are.
“I’m waiting on news from the chairman about what is going to happen.
“As far as I know, there’s been no offers gone out yet, so it’s all in flux.
“I made a judgement call 18 months ago on what we were doing. Before lockdown I was quite strong in my view about what we could be doing, so it’s frustrating, but it’s life at Burnley.
“It’s one of those things, and now we’ve got to take on the challenge of what can be done now.”
Youngsters Anthony Glennon, Josh Benson, Scott Wilson, Oliver Younger, Jordan Cropper, Ryan Cooney, Adam Phillips, Christian N’Guessan, Tunde Bayode and Rob Harker have all been out on loan and are unavailable to Dyche, who explained: “At this stage, I’m finding out more by the day, obviously there’s still a bit of a period yet, but it’s going to be awkward.
“Because we work at such a lean level, our players who went out on loan aren’t eligible to play, our young players, so they can’t figure.
“So with all due respect, you’re then going down to players who haven’t even had loan spells, so it’s tricky to say the least.”
Wood, Barnes and Gudmundsson are not serious issues, but Dyche has to be careful with the trio: “Woody had a bit of a calf niggle in the break, and got over that and came in fit and well.
“But a week or so in, had an awkward moment in training, not a challenge, just running, and it pinched on his Achilles.
“He’s making good progress and happy in himself at the moment, but certainly won’t be fit in the immediacy, it’ll be longer than the next week or so.
“The challenge we’ve got, in a five-week season with nine games, you miss 10 days and that can be four games.
“Barnesy is still recovering from his hernia, he’d had a really good period but it flared up, so he’s waiting on that to settle down, and Johann is still working over these niggly calf problems.
“They’re not serious, but keep niggling on. We’re just having to be careful.”