Sean Dyche declared himself happy as his players ‘fast-track’ their way towards the new season.
The Clarets squad split into two for convincing victories at Macclesfield Town and Curzon Ashton on Friday night.
For most, the games represented their second 90-minute run outs in three days, following a similar behind-closed-doors exercise at Barnfield last Tuesday.
But with a big Europa League double header against Aberdeen on the horizon, starting with a first leg at Pittodrie next Thursday, and more friendlies to fit in ahead of the upcoming Premier League season, the gaffer is delighted at how his troops have adapted to an intense period.
“The main thing has been getting these 90 minutes in because even though the Europa League kicks in (next week), we are only half way through our pre-season,” explained Dyche, who watched as the Clarets ran out 2-0 winners at Moss Rose.
“The Premier League is still three weeks away and that’s quite a long time, so normally the players wouldn’t be playing 90 minutes, nor would they on Tuesday, but we have to fast-track them and the players have responded to that very well.
“Obviously, I haven’t got a full report from the other game at Curzon, but here we could see the lads have adapted to it well after 90 minutes the other day.
“I know fans will say ‘they should be doing that’, but this is early. The risk and reward is there, but we’ve been monitoring the GPS and we know what loading they are putting in and their markers from the Premier League, so they are going nicely.
“I thought tonight was a really good show, not just because we played some good stuff, created good chances and scored a couple of good goals, but because the competitive edge was there.
“The work rate and the pressing, against a good outfit, so I am really pleased.”
Johann Berg Gudmundsson shone at Macclesfield in his first run out since returning from the World Cup. And while Steven Defour (calf) and Ashley Barnes (knee) remained absent, there was also good news with Robbie Brady making his long-awaited return (at Curzon) following last season’s knee injury.
Dyche added: “I’m pleased Robbie got 45 minutes in, and that was the plan. He’s going really well and we just have to be really careful because he’s a slow burner.
“We are just waiting on Ashley’s knee to settle, along with Steven’s calf, but tonight was a real step forward for Robbie and it looks like he’s come through it ok.”
The Clarets next pre-seasonm game is at Preston North End on Monday, July 23 (7.45pm KO).