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Friends re-unite for Forest warm-up

Sean Dyche expects a competitive afternoon as he and his staff return to the City Ground

27 July 2017

The Clarets face a day of reunions as they continue their pre-season build-up with a trip to Nottingham Forest on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

All of Burnley’s senior coaching staff – with the exception of goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer – were on the books as players at the City Ground, with assistant manager Ian Woan giving a decade of first-team service to the twice-former European champions.

And on the other side of the fence the Clarets will face a Forest side whose director of football is Frank McParland, who held a similar post at Turf Moor before a spell in between the two clubs at Glasgow Rangers.

He has subsequently followed manager Mark Warburton from Scotland to Nottingham and was instrumental in Forest’s signing this week of full-back Tendayi Darikwa from the Clarets.

The practicalities of setting up a pre-season meeting were therefore obvious, allied to the fact that Burnley boss Sean Dyche sees the fixture as perfectly placed in his side’s warm-up schedule on the back of the Clarets’ mid-week outing at Preston.

“It’s a great club to go to,” said Dyche, who started his career at Forest.

“Obviously we have got links there from many years ago, and also the staff there.

“They are good people and I trust them to go about their business in the right way, as I did Preston.

“Yet again, they are a good, competitive Championship club.”

The Clarets continued their winning start to pre-season with a 2-1 victory at Preston, where Dyche gave game time to 19 outfield players.

Tendayi Darikwa could face the Clarets only days after leaving Turf Moor

He is likely to involve most of his senior squad again at Forest – giving a check on the fitness levels of new signing Phil Bardsley before deciding whether to include the former Stoke City defender – with two homes games to come against Celta Vigo and Hannover 96 before the Premier League season starts on 12 August.

Forest begin their Championship campaign the weekend before with a Friday night fixture at home to newly-promoted Millwall.

Warburton’s side only just beat the drop last season – winning on the final day of the campaign to help relegate Blackburn Rovers instead.

But they will be hoping to do better this time around with the former Brentford boss approaching his first full campaign in charge and a new owner in place.

Forest have sold last season’s 14-goal leading scorer, Britt Assombalonga, to Middlesbrough for £15m but have made a handul of new signings alongside Darikwa, including former Newcastle and Ipswich striker Daryl Murphy and ex-Rangers’ winger Barrie McKay.

And they are unbeaten so far in pre-season, with two goals from Greece international Apostolos Vellios earning a 2-1 win over Spanish side Girona on Tuesday night.

Burnley supporters are reminded they can pay on the day at the City Ground but season-ticket holders must display take their ticket to gain advantage of entry at reduced rates of £10 adults and £5 concessions.

Prices otherwise are £15 adults and £10 concessions.

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