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Brady Missing But Squad Looking Good

Boss Sean Dyche happy with competition for season-opener

8 August 2019

Robbie Brady will miss the start of the season, but boss Sean Dyche admits he’s not short of options elsewhere.

Wideman Brady hasn’t yet shaken off a rib injury suffered in pre-season and which forced him off half an hour into the Clarets’ final warm-up game against Parma in mid-week.

But defenders James Tarkowski and Kevin Long, who missed the 2-0 win over the Serie A oufit, are both fit for Saturday’s curtain-raiser against Southampton at Turf Moor.

“Robbie had a knock on his ribs and we’ve now found out it was a tiny hairline fracture, rather than the intercostal muscles, which is why it’s been so sore,” said Dyche.

Brady cross.jpg

“He’s unlikely to figure – but everyone else is just about there, so we’re pleased with that. Tarky is good and Kevin Long is good.”

Steven Defour remains an absentee as he works his way back from a long-standing calf problem.

But the midfielder is still in Dyche’s thoughts as he puts the final touches to his plans for a fourth successive Premier League campaign.

“Stevie still has a longer term view of coming back to true fitness,” added the Burnley boss.

“He knows that we think a lot of him, but he’s had a real tough time of it.

“And true fitness is being out there training every day, super-fit, running, training and playing.

“He’s quite a way behind that at the moment, so that will come next.”

Dyche pre-Southampton.JPG

The Clarets were still looking to strengthen their squad ahead of Thursday’s 5pm transfer deadline with Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater a loan target.

And even though a successful capture of the Premier League title-winner would make it only three new outfield arrivals during the summer transfer window, Dyche sees genuine competition for places in his squad.

“I think we have made some good signings, albeit not thrashing around the money again,” he said.

“The squad has a rounded feel to it and we hope that bodes well with that competitive element in the group.

“I spoke about it today. You saw the mixed sides we have been playing, because there are a lot of players who have laid down a marker and been really strong performers.

“That in-house competitive edge is a valuable thing, that competitiveness to get the shirt and then to perform to keep the shirt.

“That’s what a rounded squad mentality brings. There are a lot of good signs. Those signs have to become realities.”

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