Clarets boss Sean Dyche has his fingers crossed that injuries to Matt Lowton and Fredrik Ulvestad aren’t too serious ahead of the big kick-off at Leeds on Saturday.
Lowton missed the 2-0 win against Bradford at Turf Moor in Michael Duff’s testimonial match, while Ulvestad was stretchered off after only four minutes on the pitch, and Dyche said: “Matt has a shin injury, we’re not sure the length of that, it’s settling down already. We’ll just keep an eye on that.
Freddie has gone off for a precautionary x-ray and we’ll wait and see on the outcomeSean Dyche
“Freddie has gone off for a precautionary x-ray and we’ll wait and see on the outcome.”
In Lowton’s absence, Tendayi Darikwa made his debut after arriving from Chesterfield on Thursday, and impressed, as Dyche noted: “He did well, he only came in Thursday night, and he didn’t have his boots so we lent him some, then he was on the road for three hours to get his boots. Changing clubs is a big event in a players’ life, to have all that and still play with the clarity he did, was excellent. He’s still developing and learning but he showed really good signs.”
The game marked Duff’s tremendous service after 11 seasons with the club, and Dyche hailed the 37-year-old: “He’s been tremendous here. He still remains here, he’s still ready, still fit, he wants to be picked, and when he’s got that desire, he’s another great warrior for us.”
And the last public pre-season warm-up brought a third clean sheet in six games, and a 2-0 win, with goals from Lukas Jutkiewicz and Matt Taylor.
Dyche was happy with his players but wants more: “It’s slightly unfamiliar to most of the Championship games in that the ball came forward quickly, particularly early in the game with big Hanson, who’s areal handful and has been for many years - he’s a good player.
“I was pleased with how we dealt with that, we defended our box very well - I think Heats had one long-distance save to make.
“The energy of the side looked good as the game wore on, first half, realistically it could, should have been 3-0, maybe 3-1 if they get the free kick, and second half we were in control of the game.
“Good signs, but I still demand more. We’re getting there, but we need more, we know the challenge that is coming.”