Clarets stars to get extra time off

Tom Heaton during the training at St George's Park, Burton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 4, 2015. See PA story SOCCER England. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.paphotos.com/info/ for full restrictions and further information.
Tom Heaton during the training at St George's Park, Burton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 4, 2015. See PA story SOCCER England. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to FA restrictions. Editorial use only. Commercial use only with prior written consent of the FA. No editing except cropping. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.paphotos.com/info/ for full restrictions and further information.

Burnley return to training on Wednesday after one of the shortest close seasons in memory.

But the Clarets’ international stars will be given more time off after a busy summer.

It is just over five weeks since the final whistle blew on Burnley’s Premier League campaign at Villa Park, and while the majority of the squad have been taking a welcome break, keeper Tom Heaton and defenders Michael Keane and Stephen Ward have all been away with their countries.

Heaton was in the senior England squad for a friendly with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin, and the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier in Ljubljana, while Ward was also on duty for Ireland against England, and the following qualifying clash with Scotland at the Aviva Stadium.

Keane, meanwhile, has been away with Gareth Southgate’s England Under 21s, for the European Championships in the Czech Republic, alongside Danny Ings, who officially joins Liverpool tomorrow after his Burnley contract expires.

Burnley’s first pre-season game two-weeks tomorrow, against Étoile Carouge at the Stade de la Fontenette – a match which will round off their training camp in Évian-les-Bains, but Dyche explained of his internationals: “They will be given some extra time definitely. Those guys have gone a long way.

“They’ve got a plan, we’ve already done individual tailored plans for rest, recovery, but also some work ready for when they come back.

“It’s important they get some added time because they need to refuel mentally as much as anything, so they will come in at a later stage.”

But, the way statistics are gathered in the modern age means Burnley can keep very close tabs on the trio: “We’re obviously monitoring them.

“You can imagine now the science at international level and club level now is very similar but it’s also very open.

“We can get all the stats, the workloads etc. They become more open with that.

“We can keep tabs on them in good detail with Mark Howard and Ally Beattie.”

Heaton and Ward have had a fortnight or so off now, while Keane and England bowed out of the European Under 21 Championships on Wednesday night.

Dyche has been in touch with his players and been kept up to date with their progress by their intnational managers, and he added: “I’ve spoken to Tom. But when players are away I’m not on them all the time, they’ve got their own things to focus on.

“I have spoken to them to touch base and see if everything’s okay, but I tend to ring the managers. The players hear enough of my voice during the season!”

For Heaton, it was a first senior call-up for the Three Lions, after an impressive campaign which saw him named the players’ player of the year at Turf Moor, keeping 10 clean sheets in the Premier League.

Dyche feels the experience will serve him well: “You hope so. He’s had a fantastic couple of seasons and this has been the icing on the cake.”

Matt Lowton became Burnley’s first summer signing on Monday, but as Dyche looks to add further to his squad, he is in no rush, despite the players returning to Gawthorpe: “I’d like to have the right people in the right slots, however long that takes. We like the group we’ve got. We want to be flexible and add to that, it’s just when those situations become open.

“We want to have a situation where we’ve got a squad in place that we feel can be productive.

“We need to carry even more of a balanced squad because we have got more finance available, not just in fees but in wages, so we are looking for that competitiveness across the pitch.”