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No Rush For Nahki

Manager will give striker more time to get up to full speed

1 November 2017

Sean Dyche says Nahki Wells still needs more game-time before competing for a regular first-team slot.

Wells was on the Burnley bench for the first time since his summer signing from Huddersfield Town for Monday night's 1-0 win over Newcastle Town.

With Chris Woods missing through injury, Wells offered an extra attacking option among the substitutes.

But the 27-year-old wasn't called into action as Jeff Hendrick's goal secured the win that lifted the Clarets up to seventh place in the Premier League.

And Wells will be given more opportunities to get up to full match fitness following surgery during the summer to rectify a long-standing ankle problem.

The Burnley boss said: “Nahki still needs more minutes.

“We thought it was appropriate to put him in, especially with Woody being out, and he needs that mixture now of getting involved with us and getting more game-time, so we will look to get that sorted out for him in the coming weeks.”

Wells has played twice as an over-age player for the Clarets' U23s since returning to action last month, and also completed 90 minutes in a behind-closed door friendly against Sheffield United.

A Premier League Cup tie against Colchester United at Curzon Ashton on Thursday night, and a Professional Development League against Huddersfield at Turf Moor next Monday, could provide further opportunities to build-up match fitness - wrapped around the Clarets' Premier League trip to Southampton.

Wood, meanwhile, is likely to face a further fitness check before the trip to the St Mary's Stadium after not being risked against Newcastle with the hamstring strain he picked up at Manchester City .

The return from injury of Sam Vokes further strengthened the Clarets' bench, with Ashley Barnes getting the nod to lead the line against the Magpies. 

“As for Chris, we’ll see,” Dyche added.

“We made a good call on Monday night because it was touch-and-go. But I believe in all of my forwards and if I have to make a decision I do.

“It was a joint decision and we just decided with a hamstring it was probably too early and we got the win, so it looks a good decision.”

The Clarets' U23 game against Huddersfield (kick-off 2pm) will be the first in the Professional Development League held at Turf Moor this season.

The central sections of the Bob Lord Stand will be open to supporters from 1pm, with admission £4 adults and £2 concessions. 

Season-ticket holders will be admitted free on production of their season-ticket card at the turnstile.

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