Clarets boss Sean Dyche looking for right players ahead of January transfer window opening
Clarets boss Sean Dyche admits he is keen to keep his players on their toes as the January transfer window looms.
Dyche prefers to work with a tight squad, with only 20 players making an appearance so far this season.
But he is looking to enhance his options where possible, and feelsthe prospect of new faces can only continue to bring the best out of his side.
Burnley sit sixth in the Premier League, and will go into Saturday’s home game with Spurs – which marks the halfway point of the season – above Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
Looking ahead to January, asked whether it was a tough choice to stick or twist with the squad he has, he said: “It’s not about that, it’s about the right players dropping in. You need the right players available. I’ve always said if the right players are available, I could bring them in.
“The players know that, and it helps keep them performing, knowing there are players out there who could come in and do a job.
“We are probably slightly better off nowadays – financially, the feel, the changing ground. It makes us a slightly better concern for people to look at.
“And I think that adds a bit of power to the group, because they enjoy these facilities. But it’s more about the market, it’s just difficult even if you’ve got the money available.”
Burnley’s place in the table is also likely to be a benefit to them, in terms of bringing players in, as Dyche accepted: “I think it must help, from a mentality point of view.
“A player who maybe three years ago was thinking ‘I’m not sure what sort of season they’ll have’, will now be ‘hang on, they’re certainly a decent concern’, with the stories about the training ground and all that, that changes the overall view.
“Some Championship clubs now have major training grounds, some League 1 clubs have some very decent facilities, and I think that’s changed.
“We’re now up to speed, if not slightly in front of it. You go to Chelsea, Man U, Tottenham, they’re unbelievable, but this is very good for a club like Burnley.
“Certainly it’s enough for players to think ‘yeah, I like it here’. The pitches are second to none as well, and that adds to it.”
Ideally, Burnley would need another wide player, with Robbie Brady expected to be out for the season, and Dyche added: “We’ve been tested recently with injuries and changes to the side anyway, and we only run with a pretty small squad by Premier League standards – mostly by design by the way, we don’t want a massive squad, we want a competitive squad who can all do the job, and there are signs again that we’re still a good unit.”
Burnley’s next two games are against Spurs, and second place Manchester United – sides, remarkably, they are in and around.
So is it a nice test against sides of that calibre?: “Of course, but the table is irrelevant, you’ve got to test yourselves against them anyway because there’s a fixture list that says you are going to have to test yourselves against them.
“But it’s always a measure of the realities of the Premier League, whether you’re improving. I’m open minded about what our players can do, and I think they are, they’re enjoying what they’re achieving this season so far.
“I think the fans are enjoying it, they know there’s a reality to it. We’ve had to work for everything we’ve got, and they can see the players giving a lot to the cause, and some quality as well.”