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Clarets Rally Round Irish Pals

Players lift World Cup wounded on return to Burnley duty

16 November 2017

The Clarets’ squad has rallied around their Irish international team-mates to help them avoid a World Cup hangover.

Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Stephen Ward and Kevin Long all returned to training with Burnley on Thursday – two days after their dream of a place at Russia 2018 was ended.

The Republic of Ireland were beaten 5-1 in the second leg of their play-off against Denmark in Dublin to end their hopes of reaching a first World Cup Finals since 2002.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche admitted the quartet – along with injured forward Jon Walters – were feeling a bit “fed-up” but hopes the pick-me-up of returning to their club colleagues will have them back on track for Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Swansea City at Turf Moor on Saturday.

“The Irish lads are okay. I wouldn’t say they’re great. They’re obviously very disappointed,” Dyche told Clarets Player HD.

“These are really good guys and they have taken it as a bit of knock, not just the fact they haven’t made it, (but) the game and all that.

Chris Wood will face a fitness check on his return to Barnfield

“But they are in a group here who accept them back in very quickly, with open arms and say: ‘come on lads, we’ve got to get on with it.’

“There’s a resilience about that and I think they’ll be fine.

“They have come back into the group they see all the time on a day-to-day basis and you get that little feel-good factor of being amongst your own as well.

“I think there’s a little bit of that and it calms everything down, away from the rigours and pressures of what’s gone in and gets them clear-minded again about their team-mates and the things we are looking to achieve.

“We had a nice light session today to get them all aligned again and they were decent.”

Clarets’ striker Chris Wood also suffered World Cup disappointment as New Zealand lost out in their qualification shoot-out with Peru in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Nahki Wells is fit to challenge for a place

Burnley’s record-buy featured only as a substitute in both legs of the play-off due to a hamstring concern and will not be back with the Clarets until Friday.

“It was always going to be a big ask for them and it didn’t quite happen, but Woody has played his part in what they did,” added Dyche.

“He has had a niggly hamstring over there, so we will wait and find out more from his point of view on that, We’ve had the feed-back from their medical team.

“It’s a long journey so we’ll see him tomorrow and wait see how he is.”

Walters was a non-playing part of the Irish party for the ties against Denmark, having captained his country during their qualifying run.

Dyche confirmed the former Stoke City man is back training outside but is yet to work with the Clarets’ first team as he continues his recovery from a knee problem.

However, strike colleague Nahki Wells did train on Thursday after shaking off a minor knock he picked up in Tuesday’s training-ground game with Oldham Athletic.

Dean Marney successfully came through another 90 minutes against the Latics but still needs more game-time to get back to full match fitness as he continues his successful recovery from knee surgery.


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