Vincent Kompany hints at changes for Sunderland as Burnley boss monitors the minutes of club's senior pros
Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is mindful of the minutes that his senior professionals are playing at present.
The Manchester City legend has been understandably cautious when managing Johann Berg Gudmundsson's game time with the Icelander returning from a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
The 36-year-old Belgian will also continue to monitor the form and fitness of leading scorer Jay Rodriguez and skipper Jack Cork, who have both featured prominently throughout the start of this Championship campaign.
The pair, both 33, have averaged 1,128 minutes between them this season, and have started the last 12 league games in succession, which could increase when the Clarets travel to the Stadium of Light to take on Sunderland.
With Cork just a yellow card away from a one-match suspension, and Burnley facing a run of seven games (in all competitions) in 22 days, Kompany said: "If we had a very general press conference at the beginning of this season and we went through the list of all the names, 'what would you have said about this player when the schedule gets busy?'.
"I think we would all have come to the conclusion that there are a few players that we need to be a little bit more mindful of, because of previous injuries, age, or the very relentless nature of this calendar.
"We'll see when it happens, it's something we'll have to manage, we'll need to have conversations with the lads, because the last thing we want to happen now is to lose anyone for two or three weeks."
Kompany was forced into making a couple of alterations midweek when defensive duo Ian Maatsen and Jordan Beyer were ruled out of the club's eighth stalemate this term, against Birmingham City at St Andrew's.
The Premier League Hall of Famer might, however, opt to make voluntary changes when the Black Cats welcome his side to Wearside, with the likes of Ashley Barnes, Samuel Bastien, Manuel Benson, Halil Dervisoglu and Gudmundsson all pushing for inclusion.
The former centre back said: "I can't tell you exactly when, you can't pin a date, you just go game-by-game, you have a look at symptoms, if they're good you keep them on the pitch, if there are signs of fatigue then you have to be ahead of it. That's the way to manage it with experienced players.
"You've had different heroes at different times this season. It always depends on the guys who are replacing and how they perform. If it happens then we have to have full confidence in the other players to relieve the load a little bit."