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Dyche Happy With Striker Headache

9 January 2015

Sean Dyche insists he is happy to have a striking headache ahead of a potentially crucial run of Premier League games.

The Clarets host QPR tomorrow in the first of four games against teams in the bottom seven of the division.

And with Sam Vokes returning to goalscoring ways against Spurts in midweek, competition is now fierce at the sharp end of the pitch.

The Burnley boss said: “It’s a fantastic dilemma for me and the more the merrier!

“The top end of the pitch is virtually always where it’s at and that’s why strikers are always talked about.

“We think we have got a good, healthy group now who are all slightly different, which gives us a chance to operate in different ways.

“It’s the toughest job as a manager because you have to let people down in one way or another. But last year we didn’t really have that too much, but I feel we do now.”

Much of the focus at Turf Moor tomorrow will naturally fall on former Clarets’ strike partners Charlie Austin and Danny Ings.

Rangers striker Austin has already scored 12 Premier League goals this season, while Ings has emerged from his shadow to enhance his own growing reputation.

Dyche insisted: “They are both completely different people and players.

“I have a lot of respect for both of them and they are both smashing people. I really enjoy their company, let alone their professionalism and talent, but they are very different players.

Charlie Austin in Clarets colours, celebrating with Jason Shackell.

“Charlie is more the traditional number nine role, who is good at the basic principles of a basic goalscoring by getting in the box a lot.

“Danny can play more open-mindedly, like a number 10, off the front and as a number nine, so he is a slightly more rounded player in many ways, but both are effective in different ways.”

At the other end of the pitch, Burnley hope to welcome back skipper Jason Shackell following a calf injury that forced him to miss the FA Cup game in midweek. And if fit, he will look to resume his burgeoning central defensive partnership with Michael Keane, who this week committed himself to the club for three-and-a-half years following a permanent move from Manchester United.

And Dyche insists the England U21 international, who celebrates his 22nd birthday this weekend, will mature at Turf Moor.

Dyche said: “We had Michael’s signing on the go from inside the camp for a long while. Things were put in place with Manchester United about the prospect of signing him back at the start of his loan and it was just about all parties being happy with it and Michael being happy with the situation.

“He has been at Manchester United since he was a young man, so he wanted to be sure himself.

“It’s fair to say he has enjoyed his time here and his pathway is with us now. He will develop going forward because he is still very young and maturing as a player, but he is doing a good job of it so far.

“He has a bit of everything; he is certainly big enough for the modern game and he has certainly got the physical side of the game, which will only improve.

“He can obviously take care of the ball, but most of all I think he has the real will and desire to improve - and that’s a massive factor in players.”

Speaking about the upcoming turn of fixtures, which sees the Clarets host Crystal Palace next, followed by a trip to Sunderland and a televised home clash with WBA, Dyche added: “There are no guarantees!

“We know how it works. However, you get points, you have to get them. You could win all the home games and there’s no guarantees the job is done.

“The job is done on the last day of the season when the whistle blows and that’s when I’ll look at how I deem the job to be done.

“The rest is just the ups and down, ins and outs and we are ready for the next one.”

If you can’t make it to Turf Moor tomorrow, Clarets Player has live commentary from 2.45, with Phil Bird and former England and Everton ladies goalkeeper rachel Brown-Finnis.
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