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Dyche Looks To Squad For Cup Clash

Double-pronged mission at the Etihad Stadium

22 January 2019

Sean Dyche aims to make the most of this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Manchester City by getting valuable match time into his squad.

The Burnley boss is looking forward to the fourth-round tie against the reigning Premier League champions, as he looks to welcome back some of his walking wounded.

And as well as the opportunity to try and pull off a shock at the Etihad Stadium, Dyche plans to use the cup clash to aid preparations for the big battles that lie ahead in the Premier League.

The gaffer said: “We need it (the game) in the sense that some of the bodies will come back and they’ll play. We have a bigger situation for this season and that is the Premier League.

“We’ll have to be greedy with the game and use it for our reasons, beyond the fact that it’s an important FA Cup game.

“We’ll still put out a team that I believe in, but the point is our players are coming back from injury.

“They need that game, so that’s an important one and we’ll use it wisely ready for the games that come after that.”

England goalkeeper Nick Pope could be in line for his second senior appearance since returning from a dislocated shoulder.

And the trio of Stephen Ward, Steven Defour and Johann Berg Gudmundsson could also feature following recent injury absences, along with Robbie Brady, who has now served his three-match ban.

They could be joined by several other first-teamers short of match action during the Clarets’ recent resurgence in the Premier League, where they are now unbeaten in four games.

Dyche added: “I respect the FA Cup, but we know that the bigger part of our club and what we’re trying to achieve is the Premier League.

“Without guaranteeing results, you look to guarantee performances, or attempt to; and I think we’re back there.

“The last five performances have been very good and that’s a key thing.

“I’ve enjoyed the way the players are working, because we’ve had a lot of questions asked this season.

“They’re beginning to look back to themselves and I’m enjoying that, on their behalf, because I’ve got a really good group here, not just the players that are playing, the group in general.”

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