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Mee And Lowton Back In The Frame

Defenders back from injury as Clarets look to keep flying high

14 December 2017

Ben Mee and Matt Lowton will both travel to Brighton as boss Sean Dyche weighs up which side to pick in his bid to keep Burnley flying high against the Seagulls.

Acting captain Ben Mee has missed the Clarets’ last two games with a gash to the knee, while Lowton saw his own ever-present run ended by a medial knee ligament strain he suffered against Arsenal at the end of last month.

Phil Bardsley has successfully filled the right-back role since, helping Burnley win two of their last three games to climb into the Premier League’s top six.

And Kevin Long has contributed to two clean sheets and back-to-back 1-0 wins as Mee’s deputy, leaving Dyche with some decisions to make as his side goes for a second three-in-a-row this season against a Brighton side sitting 13th in the table .

“Matt Lowton will be available, as will Ben Mee,” confirmed the manager.

“It was my call with Ben (on Tuesday). It was a close one, another few days would make sure.”

Charlie Taylor became the 20th player used in the Premier League by the Clarets this season

Stephen Ward is a doubt, however, and will face a check to see whether he can shake off a knock to the knee he picked up in Tuesday night’s win over Stoke City.

Ward was forced to come off just before the break in a victory that earned the Clarets the League Manager’s Association Performance of the Week award – reflecting a result that gave Dyche’s side 24-hour residency of a top-four slot.

That paved the way for Charlie Taylor to make a Premier League debut and the former Leeds United left-back helped close out a ninth clean sheet of the season in a back five that last played together in a League Cup defeat to Leeds – on penalties – in September.

“When you need it on nights like other night, when we had changes before and during the game, it’s nice to see the team can still perform,” added Dyche, whose side has won six times in eight games since losing to apparent champions-in-waiting Manchester City two months ago.

“We have a clear respect for our players here. I’m not mentioning that others don't, but we focus on players not involved too, and when they're needed they'll be ready.

“It’s great credit to them. We lead it, but part of that is a culture they’ve set. When they do come in they know they're respected by the group, the staff and the manager.

“They go in with an assuredness of the group around them.”

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