Burnley boss Dyche understands Ben Gibson’s frustration after return to train with former club Middlesbrough

Ben Gibson
Ben Gibson

Sean Dyche admits he can understand centre back Ben Gibson’s frustration at not playing regularly at Turf Moor.

Gibson has linked up with his former club Middlesbrough to train, after his disappointment at a move to Watford - who had three offers turned down before the window closed - failing to emerge.

The 27-year-old had only made six appearances since a joint club record switch from Boro in the summer of 2018, including one Premier League start.

He had had some bad fortune, with a harsh sending off in Athens against Olympiakos in the Europa League followed by two hernia operations, but he has found it hard to dislodge Ben Mee and James Tarkowski - who are set for their 50th-successive Premier League shanty alongside each other at Southampton on Saturday.

Dyche, as a former player, knows all about some moves not working out, and, asked how frustrating it is to not play, he admitted: “There’s a reality to everyone’s journey in football.

“Some work hand in glove, some need work.

“And not every player can play. You can only pick 11 players and it’s tough.

“We’ve got good players here en masse, I believe.

“We certainly have and had very good centre halves, of which he is one.

“But he couldn’t find a way into the team, and then frustration can built out of the back end of that.”

Two hernia operations hindered his progress, and Dyche added: “That’s something none of us can control, that’s the hardest part about football.

“That is the most frustrating time for a footballer generally when he’s injured, sometimes they can be possibly helped with good strengthening and conditioning but generally when someone gets injured you can’t do too much about it.”

A Burnley future seems unlikely, despite having two years on his contract, but, as to whether he will

play again for the club, Dyche said: “We will see, time will tell.

“Again we’ll see it’s one of those situations where we wait to see what the next step is. For us as a club and equally for him as a player.”

Dyche knows how hard it can be to keep players not playing regularly happy, and accepts it has been a unique situation: “It’s not overly difficult, it is just a unique situation but it is part of what I do.

“I have been in management long enough to know that there are things and situations that occur that need managing one way or the other, and I think as a collective the club has managed it to the situation we feel is appropriate.”

Middlesbrough sources suggest Gibson will be with Boro for a week, but Dyche said there is no timescale on his return, and wasn’t drawn on whether Gibson’s attitude had dropped off: “No. It is just a situation where players want one thing and that doesn’t always work.

“It is just the way it goes, it is quite a unique situation.

“Any details will be kept private as we like to do

“It is one of those situations that will remain private until we choose for it not to be private.

“It’s just a situation that goes off the back of the club statement, quite a unique one for me, a unique situation.

“One in which there’s a private angle to it and that will remain private at this time. He’s at Boro, he’s training there to keep fit and stay sharp.

“But he’s still a Burnley player and he’s still contracted to Burnley.”

And Dyche has no regrets over doing the deal in the first place: “No, all parties come into a situation in good faith and want to be successful, I’ve never had a situation in football where people don’t want to be successful, it’s just that’s not always the case.

“Who knows what will come next because I’ve never shut down on situations with players.

“This is just the reality of what it is.”