Update on Nick Pope’s fitness ahead of Burnley’s last two games and the Euros
Burnley keeper Nick Pope could return before the end of the season, after missing the 4-0 home defeat to Leeds United with injury.
Pope recently sat out the games against Newcastle United and Manchester United with a shoulder issue, but he has also struggled with a knee problem, which forced him out against the Whites on Saturday.
However, with the European Championships to come next month, Pope is expected to feature in one or both of the last two Premier League games, against Liverpool at Turf Moor on Wednesday night, or Sunday’s trip to relegated Sheffield United.
Boss Sean Dyche explained: “Popey has a niggly knee, we’ve had it looked at, and at this stage they’re happy with it.
“It needs to settle down, but he has a chance of playing maybe Wednesday, a better chance on Sunday.”
The hardest to beat goalkeepers in the Championship with Burnley's Arijanet Muric, Blackpool's Chris Maxwell, Preston North End's Freddie Woodman and Wigan Athletic's Ben Amos all rated
Burnley star dubbed as one of the most hot-headed Premier League players over the last five years alongside Crystal Palace, Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle United aces
However, Phil Bardsley and Dale Stephens require surgery, with the pair, and Robbie Brady and Kevin Long, out for the season: “At this stage of the season we have Bardo who needs an op, Dale Stephens, we have Robbie Brady and Kevin Long out, so the risk and reward now is to try and get as many people fit, who can then be properly fit for pre-season.
“Now we’ve got over the line we want to get these guys fit, and it’s not an easy task, but we intend on doing that for pre-season.”
Bailey Peacock-Farrell came in for Pope, making his fourth Premier League appearance, and it was a difficult afternoon against his former club.
The Northern Ireland keeper has now shipped 14 goals in those four starts, and Dyche said: “These are the challenges for keepers.
”He is aware of the challenge of being in the Premier League and that next step for his development, and you have to go through the fire and experience these events to learn as a keeper and progress, so it is how he deals with that as well.
"He's developed off the pitch in the way he has gone about it and physically developed.
”The game time is the next challenge for the next step, as it is for any player, but particularly when you are a keeper because it is a very individual role.
”Even the challenge of conceding and learning how to deal with that.”