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Dyche On Defour Injury and Newcastle Point

31 January 2018

Sean Dyche admitted it was a hammer blow to learn he will be without Steven Defour for several months.

The Belgian midfielder missed the 1-1 draw at Newcastle United after a precautionary scan revealed knee cartilage damage that will require surgery.

And Dyche, who is already reeling from a lengthy injury list, was disappointed to lose another influential player.

The gaffer said: “Unfortunately, Steven is going to have an operation and be out for some time.

That’s a blow to us, and to Steven, of course. He has been playing with the problem for some time and didn’t know it was there.

“He just had a bit of a sore knee and so we sent him for a scan and there was a problem with his cartilage that the specialist will have to sort out and we’ll wait and see what he says after the operation.

“Steven was thoroughly enjoying his season and rightly so because he’s been excellent, so we wish him a speedy recovery.”

In Defour’s absence – and without eight of his first team squad through injuries - Dyche admitted he was delighted with the hard-earned point at St James’ Park, courtesy of Sam Vokes’ late header to cancel out Jamaal Lascelles’ second half header.

Dyche, who fielded Ashley Westwood in midfield, with Aaron Lennon making an impressive second half appearance from the bench, said: “We’ve shown a lot of character tonight.

“I’d have taken that after the first half because they were the better side. We still looked like we were finding our feet and it was almost a new group playing tonight, in the sense that they haven’t played that many games together.

“We weren’t making the connections you need, but that got better in the second half and, in the end, we were the side going for the win, so overall I’m very pleased.”

He added: “It’s frustrating when you haven’t won for a while and we are having a tough run at the moment, but we’ve got 35 points on the board and we’re back up to seventh in the Premier League.

“Also, that’s our 18th point away from home. Last season we got seven so I have to look at the bigger picture, as well as the immediacy and we are improving as a group.

“We are in good shape, and we deserve to be. There are no excuses because injuries happen, but I like my squad and I want the players who come in to experience the Premier League and form another group together.

“It’s not that easy when you are having to move the squad around, so on balance it’s another good point on the table.

“I’m pleased for the fans too because they were brilliant. it’s a long way up here, and certainly a long way up there in that stand and, In the end, I felt we were certainly deserving of a point.”

 


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