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Dyche Praise For International Clarets

16 March 2017

Sean Dyche has welcomed another raft of international call-ups as a reflection of the Clarets' continued progress as a Premier League side.

Up to eight members of the first-team squad at Turf Moor are set to be on international duty over the next fortnight, with injury depriving Johann Berg Gudmundsson of a place in the Iceland squad for their up-coming games.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton and defender Michael Keane lead the home charge after being named in Gareth Southgate's England squad for a friendly in Germany and then a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley.

Heaton is looking to add to his two caps, while Keane is hoping for a first taste of senior international action after making the grade as a top-flight player during his time at Turf Moor.

"It's a good sign that there are a number of internationals here," said Dyche.

"There are big strides forward. We are delighted with that and slightly more so when myself and my staff and what we do here have aided in that journey.

"With Tom and Keano, I think it's fair to say the culture, the environment here, the staff, have added to their pathway in being recognised at international level. I think that's fantastic.

"Others we've signed in, of course, but they've been here long enough to mature with the team and I think that's a good thing for them and a good thing for us.

"Both have been fantastic in what they they've done for us and we'll see what happens when they're on international duty.

"As an individual, to be called up by your country is a fantastic thing and I think every player here who has had that happen has earned the right, so I'm really pleased for them."

Andre Gray is believed to have been in Southgate's thinking as an attacking option before the nod went to Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford and Sunderland's Jermain Defoe.

Defoe and Gray will go head-to-head at the Stadium of Light on Saturday when the Clarets face Sunderland in the Premier League.

And Dyche believes leading scorer Gray can force his way into the England picture in the future if he maintains his upward trajectory.

"I think he is learning. I think he will improve from what we do here and the experience of being in the Premier League, so hopefully if he continues to do that his day will come," added the Burnley boss.

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