Dyche Looking Forward To Senior Service
Injury latest as Clarets aim to turn performances into points
Boss Sean Dyche is looking forward to the return of some more of his senior players as captain Ben Mee continues on the comeback trail.
Mee won’t be involved against Chelsea at Turf Moor on Saturday after four months out either side of the brief summer break with a thigh injury.
But the defender is stepping up his workload and his availability for the first time this season – along with a return for experienced midfielder Jack Cork – will strengthen Dyche’s hand in the coming weeks as he bids to get the Clarets climbing.
“Ben had a run-out in the week, which was good. We’re trying to get him another game ASAP,” confirmed Dyche.
“He is training with us all the time now, which is good news, and he’s getting there.
“He’s been out a while now so ideally we need more game time for him but he’s certainly sharpening up in training.
“It’s been the first long spell he’s had out since I’ve been here so that’s been a challenge for him and for us, so we will welcome him back when he’s fit.
“It will be good to have Corky fit as well. Alongside that, Dale (Stephens) has come in and is doing nicely and is getting used to it and I think Westy and Browny have done very well.
“But if we can get Corky fit as well it’s just another really strong player for us.
“He and Ben are very strong players who have done very well for us. They are important. All of these players are important.”
Cork’s comeback is still some way behind that of Mee, who played for 70 minutes in a training-ground game against Derby County’s Under-23s on Tuesday.
And full-backs Phil Bardsley and Erik Pieters are also still to return to the squad to provide further added experience.
They miss the visit of the Blues and winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson is rated touch and go with a niggly calf.
“Even with the bodies recovering and getting back towards us we have lost a couple in the meantime, which is not ideal,” added Dyche.
The Clarets will therefore again be light on numbers as they look for their first Premier League win of the season against a Chelsea side which played and won in Russia in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Londoners are also unbeaten in their last four Premier League games but have conceded nine goals in six domestic league matches.
And the Clarets will be looking to get back on the goal trail to enhance their chances of turning performances into points after finding the net only once in their last four league games.
“It’s the hardest job in the game, I think, scoring goals,” said Dyche, whose side out-played high-flying Tottenham for long periods on Monday night before being sunk by a late winner.
“I never over-think my strikers or anyone else on the pitch. I think we’ve created some good quality chances and on another day we’d have scored more goals.
“But it’s tough in the Premier League, to score goals and score lots of them. We have to make all of the chances count when we can.
“It can still improve, but I think the chance count has been okay, particularly against Tottenham and West Brom.
“The other side of that is finding the balance and defending well and in the last two games I think we’ve defended very well.
“If we keep doing what we’ve been doing in the last two games I think we’ll look after ourselves with results.
“There’s no guarantee, though, so we have to be ready to perform at least to that level if not beyond that.”