Sean Dyche hailed “super-sharp” Johann Berg Gudmundsson on his return to action after the World Cup.
Just over three weeks since featuring in Iceland’s final game of their first World Cup Finals against eventual finalists Croatia in Rostov-on-Don, the 27-year-old was the pick of the Burnley players in their 2-0 win at Macclesfield Town.
Gudmundsson only returned to training earlier this week, but scored the second goal just after half-time with a precision free kick, and was generally a threat throughout the hour he was on the pitch, forcing a number of saves and creating a series of openings from either flank.
With a first competitive game of the season on Thursday night at Aberdeen in the Europa League - a competition Gudmundsson has good experience of - Dyche said: “He looked super-sharp.
”He just needs topping up and sharpening up.
”We were just being careful and sensible really (taking him off after an hour) because he’s only come back in this week, but he looked nice and sharp and showed his quality once again.”
While Gudmundsson looks sharp now, is there a fear he could need a longer break at some stage?
Dyche doesn’t necessarily think so - especially given the example of Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic, for whom the World Cup Final was his 71st game of the season, one more than Chelsea's Willian (70), while Son Heung-Min (Tottenham), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) and Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) featured in 68.
He said: “Who knows? There’s a lot talked about that, but I think one season Frank Lampard went through the Champions League and played about 66 games, and looked alright to me.
“You can fill people’s heads full of things, when they don’t need it.
“He’s maturing into a very good player and certainly knows how to handle his body and look after himself, so I think he’ll be fine.”