Burnley boss Sean Dyche welcomes the return of walking wounded

Johann Berg Gudmundsson's return has bolstered manager Sean Dyche's options
Johann Berg Gudmundsson's return has bolstered manager Sean Dyche's options
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Sean Dyche is confident that the injury problems which have limited his choices so far this season are coming to an end.

The Clarets have been without a number of key players in recent months but the Burnley boss is hoping to have more options available for the final stretch of the season.

“We’re getting back to the group that we’ve been waiting for for a long time this season,” he said. “It’s been an unusual run for us but it looks like we’re coming out of that period.”

As well as the arrival of Peter Crouch, the return of Robbie Brady and Johann Berg Gudmundsson has bolstered the numbers significantly, with the trio all playing a part against Southampton.

“The team that played last week, when you can affect it with two quality players coming off your bench like Robbie and Johann, and then Crouchy as well, another quality player who knows his way around the Premier League, it’s fair to say it’s a good situation to be in,” he said.

Aaron Lennon and Jon Walters are still out with long-term injuries, but Steven Defour, Matt Lowton and Kevin Long have all returned to training.

Defour and Lowton are unlikely to be involved in the Clarets’ trip to Brighton, but Dyche is happy with their progress.

“Lowts is back on the grass but we'll have to be careful with him,” he said. “He's been out for two or three weeks with a very tiny crack in his bone. It was deemed necessary to have that rest period to get it right but he's feeling good.”

Despite their ongoing injury problems, Burnley have enjoyed a better run in the league and are now unbeaten in six games.

Across all competitions, the Clarets have found the net 10 times in their past eight games, twice as many as from the eight games before that, and Dyche is hoping to expand his attacking options.

“It’s always better to have the competitive element,” he continued. “We’ve had spells this season when we’ve had three or four defenders on the bench.

“With attacking players, it’s very likely you put them on, so the more attacking players you have fit and available, you hope that bodes well for any given game-day.”

Mark Sleightholm