Boss Dyche hopes for good news on key trio
Clarets boss Sean Dyche is hoping for good news on the fitness front, as he looks forward to welcoming back a key trio.
Robbie Brady has been out since early December, Steven Defour since the end of January, and summer signing Matej Vydra is yet to kick a ball competitively for the first time since arriving from Derby County.
But Dyche explained that all three are moving forward in their pursuit of full fitness.
Vydra was due to feature in Michael Duff’s Under 23s side against Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena yesterday afternoon, in their second game of the Professional Development League, having impressed last Monday in the 4-1 win over Cardiff City at Turf Moor.
Brady, who has played two halves of football in pre-season, is back in training with the first team squad, and should join in in full this week, while Defour, yet to feature since returning from knee surgery and picking up a calf problem, is getting closer to a return.
Dyche said: “Vyds will (play for the Under 23s), Robbie is still a bit behind it, he’s back on the grass with us, though.
“He’s has a few days on the grass, and the plan will be to train all week now and get him back to normal first team training. Steven is a few weeks behind that. We’ll see how he goes over the next 10 days to two weeks.
“We’ll see his progression from injury into work if you like.
“It’s a niggly one on the back of his knee – his knee is good, but it’s just on the back of that, which sometimes happens because your gait changes and all that.”
Burnley have scored six goals in six competitive games so far this season, four coming in two ties with Aberdeen in the Europa League, and Dyche knows he needs players of their ilk available, saying after Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Watford: “We are missing some high quality players, and have people like Vyds to get fit, and affect it.
“But the play at Southampton was very good, we definitely deserved a point, and other than five minutes on Sunday, I’m not overly critical of the players.
“A few I think can still bring that edge that comes to you at the end of a pre-season, but I’m not overly critical, apart from a really poor five, eight minutes.
“Other than that, there were some really good things.
“Jeff Hendrick gave a very good performance again, I only took him off to try and change the feel of it.”
People will point to the Europa League and the added game time, but Dyche made six changes from Thursday night: “It’s the story that started five months ago. It’s not new, but you’ll all run it, it’s your jobs.
“That’s the challenge, it’s here, it’s real, so that’s what we get on with.
“The performances have been really good. First half we were very good, certainly the better side.”