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Club News

Pair Set To Wing Back In

Good news for widemen but setback for Steven Defour

21 February 2019

Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady are set to wing their way back into the Clarets’ plans for Saturday’s visit of title-chasing Tottenham.

But midfielder Steven Defour is not ready to return and is due to undergo a further scan and see another specialist in a bid to get to the bottom of an on-going calf problem.

Widemen Gudmundsson and Brady both missed Burnley’s 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion a fortnight ago after suffering late set-backs ahead of the game on the south coast.

But both were in Portugal for the Clarets’ training break ahead of their blank weekend for the FA Cup fifth-round ties.

Robbie Brady's last league start came at Tottenham

And after working back at Barnfield in the build-up to Saturday’s Turf Moor return, boss Sean Dyche is penciling the pair into his plans.

“We think Johann and Robbie come back,” confirmed Dyche, who has not been able to start either player since the beginning of the year, bar a curtailed outing for Brady in the fourth-round cup exit at Manchester City.

“They trained today and were good, so they come back into the thinking, which is good.

“We’re getting there and hopefully they stay fit.”

The availability of Brady and Gudmundsson is welcome news to add to the impact being made by Dwight McNeil and increase the in-form Clarets’ attacking options as they look to continue their unbeaten Premier League run to eight games.

But the outlook is less bright for the luckless Defour, whose sole action since the start of December has been two cup-tie appearances after his start to the season was also delayed by the affects of knee and calf problems.

“Unfortunately, Steven Defour is still struggling with his calf,” added Dyche.

“He keeps getting niggly calf injuries. We’ve had to send him away to a specialist now to get another opinion to double-check that it’s something simple.

“We are waiting for news on that, so that’s a bit of a blow.

“Steven and the medical team are getting their heads together and saying: ‘right, we’ve got to go the next level now’.

“One, for clarity of what we think it is and, two, to finally solve it.”

Aaron Lennon is not ready for a Spurs reunion but continues to make good progress following the knee injury he sustained against his former club in mid-December.

The Clarets were beaten by a late goal at Wembley during a testing pre-Christmas run.

But since Boxing Day they have re-vitalised their fortunes to climb out of the bottom three and Dyche is keen to keep the momentum going as his side approaches three games in an important eight-day spell.

“There is still lots of work to be done but we are in a better place than we were. But we have to continue in that vein,” he said.

“We don’t run away with ourselves because things can change quickly, but the players deserve credit and they are certainly grounded enough to know there’s more to come.”


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