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Dyche Hopes For Fitness Boost

13 December 2019

Sean Dyche insists he will not force his walking wounded back unless they are ready for battle.

The injury-hit Clarets could have a number of key men back for Saturday’s visit of Newcastle United, including current player of the year Ashley Westwood, joint-leading goalscorer Ashley Barnes and right back Phil Bardsley.

But ahead of the busy festive schedule, and despite three successive defeats, the gaffer is adamant they will only feature if they show no remaining ill effects.

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“A player’s instinct is to play and we’ve had times where I have had to make a call” said Dyche.

“We have to be careful because we have a lot of games coming and it’s that risk and reward scenario.

“With the spate of injuries we’ve just had, we can’t afford people going down with long-term injuries, so therefore it will be touch and go with some of the decisions we make.

“That’s the balance! Some (decisions) are obvious because you watch them in training and you get good feedback from the player and from the physios that they are clear.

“Sometimes that only happens later in the week though, like this week.

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“Then you are thinking what you can gain, or whether they go down again and, if they do, how long will that take.

“The thing about the human body is you can never quite guarantee it. If they train all week ahead of a game, it’s fair to say you trust that evidence.

“If they only train on Friday, that may come down to my decision, weighing up the games we have to come.”

Dyche will hope for good news on that front as the Clarets look for a return to winning ways, following defeats to Crystal Palace, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur.

“There’s no denying we had a tough week, on and off the pitch,” mused Dyche.

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“The learning curve within that is quite obvious and we haven’t been a million miles away this season in terms of performances. That’s important over a season.

“The other thing is there is a bit of reality. There are spells in a season when it’s tough and you take some knocks.

"It’s then about the response and how you come out of those spells and take on the next challenge.

“We’ve debriefed it all, and we live and learn. As I said, overall we are not a million miles away from where we should be.

“We have a lot better points tally and we’re unlucky not to have a few more. It’s the harsh reality of being in the Premier League.

“We know there is a two-league scenario and there’s a section of teams in and around us.

“That starts this weekend and on balance, I think the pool of teams around us are all vying for position.

“There’s more of that this season, so we have to make sure we play hard because these are the ones that end up being really important to you.”

Clarets Player will have live commentary from tomorrow’s game from 2.45pm, with Phil Bird and Andy Payton. day passes are available, costing just £1.99.

 


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