Sean Dyche on adapting on the job as Burnley's Premier League campaign resumes

Burnley go into tonight's game at Manchester City with the longest unbeaten record in the Premier League.

Monday, 22nd June 2020, 12:30 pm
Sean Dyche

So lockdown hasn't meant Sean Dyche has sat at home pondering how he can affect a change in fortunes, just trying to maintain that momentum, three months on.

However, he is likely to have to make changes to a side that is seven games unbeaten, with injuries and contract situations causing him a headache,

Dyche will be without strikers Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes, and winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson, while it remains to be seen whether any of five senior players out of contract - Jeff Hendrick, Phil Bardsley, Aaron Lennon, Joe Hart and Adam Legzdins - will be involved tonight.

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Burnley are well known for the intensity of their training - indeed former Claret George Boyd said in Friday's Express Sport: “They’re a fit team and every day in training is done at match intensity.

“Hopefully that will help them and give them an edge against other teams.

“I’ve been at other clubs where the training is nowhere near the level of Burnley’s. That will definitely be an advantage to them."

Dyche said: "I think the reshaping and rethinking is something we're going to have to adapt to quickly, with three injuries and the contract situations, we might have to.

"I don't know what's happening with that at the moment, so that isn't ideal.

"So, that will be the rethinking and reshaping, but, the current status quo, I think the players know the requirements of what they do and what they are looking to achieve from their own performances, as well as the team.

"So we'll see.

"I think, as a collective, there's a good spirit here and a good belief in what we do.

"But we've only had a couple of formats to challenge ourselves, we had a game among ourselves, three 30-minutes against Wigan at our training ground, and one game at the main ground.

"So trying to get everyone a bit of that in that short period has been tricky.

"We couldn't get everyone as many 90 minutes as we'd like, and that often forms the bond of the team and anyone who might come into the team.

"The early games are going to be almost like the end of a pre-season bizarrely.

"The games on Wednesday were sort of nearly there, but just lacking that bit of sharpness.

"So this all has to be adapted to, getting that last edge of fitness which comes from playing games."

Any further injuries would really stretch the squad, and statistics from the Bundesliga show that restarting the season has increased the percentage of knocks and niggles.

But Dyche was a firm advocate of the season being completed, and he noted: "These are the realities, everyone wanted the season to go ahead, including ourselves, you can't then cry it in.

"That's the unfortunate side of players not really having that game schedule to get themselves to the best of fitness before the real thing.

"In a normal summer, most of our players would lock in three 90 minutes and probably a couple of halves. Some will play four or five 90 minutes.

"When you think we've had one or two at best, and only one player has had two 90s, there's bound to be something just missing off the top of their fitness level.

"They can do all the work, but that Premier League match fitness comes from playing.

"If there are injuries, and we hope there's not. we'll have to look at the training schedules as best we can.

"We've had to be more delicate, and we have the contract situation in the background so we can't afford to lose too many.

"We're already stretched.

"There are concerns, but there are about anything in football, there was VAR on Wednesday - there are things you can control and things you can't.

"We can control our fitness levels and performance levels.

"Everyone is in the same boat so we'll prepare and deliver performances as best we can.

"The thing that will affect us is squad size. And psychologically it's summer, and players don't normally play in this period, unless it's an international tournament.

"It is a period of changing weather as well. It's a different ball game to February or whatever.

"That could affect injuries, fatigue, rehydration, we'll have to wait and see.

"It all has to go into the thought process."