Dyche happy with competition at full back

Charlie Taylor
Charlie Taylor

Republic of Ireland left back Stephen Ward is fit and raring to go, ahead of Saturday's FA Cup trip to Manchester City.

But while Ward may get the nod to get more gametime, after his outing against Barnsley in the last round, Sean Dyche admits the former Wolves man has a battle on his hands to prise Charlie Taylor out of the team.

Ward had a knee operation following the Carabao Cup defeat at Burton Albion in September, and Taylor has had the shirt since in the Premier League, making 29 appearances in all competitions so far this season.

His form has replicated that of the side of late, growing with the five-game unbeaten run, and Dyche said: "Charlie is learning, he still has some way to go but physically he is as good as anything out there size wise.

"He challenges people one v one very well and his game understanding is improving all the time.

"He is a very good player."

Dyche likes to have in-house competition, so will Ward's return to full fitness push Taylor on?: "Wardy’s done excellent, he came back in for the cup game, got another game in with the young lads last week and he is pushing again now to be back involved, so pleased with that.

"You never know with players, some need that push when someone is right down your neck, and some can get on without any pressure and just jeep playing well anyway.

"Charlie will know that for himself.

"I don’t think you can have any crystal ball with how people use that or don’t use it."

Dycje is also blessed with competition on the other side, where Phil Bardsley is currently keeping out Matt Lowton, and Dyche added: "Bardo is different, he is a very experienced player (to Taylor).

"He uses his experience well."