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New signing Connor Roberts hopes boosting his match fitness with Wales will also benefit Burnley.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 8:26 am

The 26-year-old right back joined the Clarets on deadline day from Swansea City, but is yet to make his debut as he fought back from a groin injury sustained at Euro 2020, which required surgery.

He featured for 45 minutes in an Under 23s game against Port Vale, but also also suffered a thigh niggle as he steps up his recovery.

Sean Dyche said after Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Norwich: “Connor is going away with Wales but we've made it clear to them he's hardly played, he's played 45 minutes so he's a bit behind the curve.

"He's generally fit, very fit actually, the way he is as a lad.”

However, Roberts could feature against the Czech Republic - and new teammate Matej Vydra - tomorrow night in Prague, and then in Estonia on Monday.

Dyche has said he needs more time before being available for the first team at Burnley, but Roberts said: “I have not spoken to him in that detail.

”It is just a case of building it up, I know I am a new signing, but I am not guaranteed to pay for Burnley, and I knew that from when I signed for them. I will have to fight for my place.

”They have Matthew Lowton, who is doing fairly well. I am a different player to him.

”So maybe when the game comes around if maybe I suit more than him, then maybe I will play.

”There is a lot of hard work before I am a regular starter for Burnley.

”Playing for Wales and putting on a good performance will hopefully go towards that.

”But there has been no ‘when you are back you are definitely going to play’, but I was not expecting that either.”

Roberts feels up to playing if selected by Wales, and added: “I know my body and I am capable of playing both games.

”If the manager and the team needs me, I will play both games easily.

”That probably won’t happen, but nothing has been said to me. They might have spoken between them, but not that I know of.”

Roberts is keen to build on an impressive Euro 2020, where he scored the second goal in the 2-0 group win over Turkey, before being forced off in the 4-0 defeat in the last 16 against Denmark.

He missed the last international camp last month, and said: "I had a good Euros, I scored the goal and everyone said I'd done well.

”I just wanted to back that up, play this season and show people it wasn't a fluke and I'm half tidy.

”It was disappointing I couldn't do that and I've not played up to now.

”In my first game, I promise I will run more than I can and try everything I can to prove I am good enough again.

"I spoke to the manager and physios at Burnley and said it is something I really want to do.

"Sitting at home watching and not being with the boys in the last camp was hard.

"I was injured but I wished I was there so badly.

"They understand Wales means the world to me and I'm the proudest guy ever and I want to play for my country and be available for selection. They said, 'Ok, that's fair enough'.

"It will benefit them as well, because if I do manage to get minutes in my legs in the next two games, then when I go back I will be a little bit fitter and more match ready. It will benefit everyone, Wales, myself and Burnley.”

Roberts has no concerns about his groin, after the first significant injury lay off of his career to date: “The professor who did the operation on me has done the same operation on many other players who have all come back and never had any problems.

“I have no worries to be honest, whether training or playing.

“I don’t really think I had an injury.

“I feel brand new.

“I keep saying to the Burnley physios, when he says how are you? I say brand new.

“I feel just as good as before i did it against Denmark.

“I don’t really think about it.

“It is just a case of getting out there and running like I used to and doing what i used to.

“It has got me this far and hopefully it can take me a little further."

He is raring to get going at Burnley after experiencing all manner of emotions over the summer: "It was incredibly testing. We had a really tough moment with Swansea in the play-off final, to then go to the Euros and do what I always dreamed of.

"Then the goal against Turkey, which was the best night of my night, and a matter of weeks after that the worst moment in football I've ever had.

"There were plenty of tears after that. I thought, is this going to be something that will hinder me for the future.

"When I found out there was an opportunity to go to Burnley and try to challenge myself in the Premier League, it was another incredibly emotional decision to leave.

”There were even more tears shed then. I'm back and can't wait to help Burnley and Wales.

"It has been the most emotional three months of my life by far. I went from a massive high to a massive low.”

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