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Heaton Out But Clarets Good To Go

No drama over flight delay as Burnley check into Pittodrie for return to Europe

26 July 2018

Tom Heaton has not travelled with the Clarets’ squad as they prepare to launch their Europa League challenge tonight.

The club captain and keeper has a calf strain and so hasn’t made the trip to Aberdeen for the second qualifying round tie first leg.

Robbie Brady is with the squad but won’t play a part as he continues to move towards full match fitness, while Ashley Barnes and Steven Defour have stayed in Lancashire to continue their rehabilitation.

And while boss Sean Dyche admits it’s a balancing act to get players ready for the start of a European and domestic campaign, he is happy with the resources he has available for the tie at Pittodrie.

Dyche said: “It’s nothing major with Tom. He had a tweak last week and then in the Preston game it was sore and he had to come off, so we have to be careful.

“We take all these competitions seriously, but the Premier League season starts in two-and-a-half weeks and that will come around quickly.

“We’ve got to make sure the players are also ready for that, so we can’t take too many risks. It’s finding that right balance.

“But I like the group and I think we’ve got enough fit bodies here. The team we will put out tonight I think are capable.”

Dyche and his staff and players were at Pittodrie this morning to have a look around the ground after their flight north was delayed on Wednesday evening.

The Clarets’ party decided to head straight to their hotel after arriving in the Granite City shortly after 8pm but after a 51-year wait for Burnley to return to European competition, Dyche was unconcerned about a short extra delay.  

“It happens. We’ve all been to airports and flown somewhere and even when you get a private flight there’s technical problems,” he added.

“That’s all it was. A lot of the lads live down in south-west that way any anyway and so they popped home for a couple of hours, so it wasn’t really that big a drama.

“The night before a game they had plenty of rest time. We got here in plenty of time last night, a bit of food and everyone got their head down.

“A bit of a wander around for the players today, just to familiarise themselves with it, a bit of a walk this morning and then rest ready for the game tonight."

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