"We'll look at varying ways the team can operate" - Sean Dyche on life without Chris Wood

Burnley will have to adapt the way they play without Chris Wood.

By Chris Boden
Wednesday, 19th January 2022, 1:12 pm
Matej Vydra and Jay Rodriguez
Matej Vydra and Jay Rodriguez

But it is hard for Sean Dyche to put any plans in place at present, with his squad down to one fully fit senior striker.

Dyche is well known for his preference for two strikers, saying last season: “A lot has been made of me playing two centre forwards, but I think centre forwards are the best players, in that it’s the hardest job, so if there are two of them, commonsensically it gives you at least somewhat of a better chance.”

However, with Ashley Barnes, Jay Rodriguez and Matej Vydra struggling for form and fitness, Dyche has used Maxwel Cornet in the number 10 role to good effect, while Aaron Lennon has played the last two league games in that role.

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Following Wood's £25m departure to Newcastle United, Dyche needs a new spearhead - or partnership,with Cornet still away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Wood and Barnes was largely a profitable pairing, but Rodriguez and Vydra have also demonstrated they can play together.

Dyche is always looking for his strikers to link, saying: “When you play two up front, for me, you can’t play them as individuals.

“They have got to connect. If not I wouldn’t play two up front...

“They have to understand how they can affect the opposition.

"I always think when two centre forwards are linking together, it's a very powerful thing, it's hard to play against, when they literally link.”

Vydra had to cancel a hernia operation after testing positive for Covid a fortnight ago, while Barnes has been out since the end of October with a thigh problem.

But Dyche acknowledges his side will have to adapt to the loss of Wood and his characteristics, although he will have to be patient, having trained with only 10 senior first team players on Monday: "We haven't got the squad to change things at the minute, it's hard enough to get a squad to train!

"But we'll look at varying ways the team can operate.

"We don't want to go miles away from what we're trying to achieve, but there are different skillsets and strengths to each different player, so we'll look at that when we can get players back fit and well. and can work on it."