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Clarets Wait On Keane

26 February 2016

SEAN Dyche plans to make a late judgement call on the fitness of Michael Keane ahead of Saturday’s derby clash at Bolton.

Defender Keane missed the midweek victory over Nottingham Forest after receiving a blow to the back of the head six days ago, against Rotherham.

January signing James Tarkowski stepped in for a full debut on Tuesday, and Dyche could have a decision to make in his starting line-up should Keane make a recovery.

The gaffer said: “We’re monitoring Michael Keane closely to make sure he is well.

“He is feeling fine at the moment, so we will see with him and make a judgement call.”

Lloyd Dyer could also feature in the squad for the first time at the Macron Stadium after a full week’s assessment by the club’s fitness team, although Michael Duff and Dean Marney are again set to miss out.

Dyche explained: “Lloyd is making good progress and I’m a great believer in getting people ready to play, rather than playing games to get themselves ready.

“He is getting close now though. He’s had a good week of good top-up work and he’s close, and otherwise we are in good shape.

“Michael Duff is back on the grass, while Dean has had a few days training with us, but won’t figure.

“As for the others, Ashley (Barnes) has been with us and we will be looking to edge him towards his first Development Squad game back, albeit a segment of that.”

The Clarets are currently the form team of the Championship; unbeaten in a season-best 10 games ahead of the short trip down the M61.

Sam Vokes scores his sixth goal in nine games with the winner against Forest in midweek

But Dyche insists he and the players will take nothing for granted against the Trotters, who find themselves seven points from safety after narrowly escaping administration this week, following their ongoing financial situation.

Dyche said: “It’s about the thirst for the next result and not relying on the last one.

“You need to find that balance and although the feel-good factor of a good result gives you the confidence to go forwards, you still have to earn the right and know that games are not given to you.

“That’s the culture we set here and we like to think we keep things pretty level here. We never get too high with the highs or too low with the lows.

“We just look at the challenges ahead and I think the players enjoy that.”

Andre Gray on target against Bolton earlier in the campaign

He added: “I think ‘Lennie’ (Neil Lennon) is doing really to keep their group motivated.

“I have seen them and they are still a decent side, I think.

“He has had to manage a group through a lot of challenges this season and it looks like there’s a different feel now with the takeover.

“Who knows what that will bring for everyone there, but all they can do is keep performing and they are still searching to make things better on the pitch.

“We certainly don’t take them for granted, that’s sure. We have to be aware of that challenge, but it’s up to us to deliver a performance.”

If you can’t make it to Bolton on Saturday. Clarets Player HD has full, uninterrupted commentary of the game, from 2.45pm. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

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