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All Eyes On The Algarve!

Dyche delighted as pre-season ramps up with Portugal trip

5 July 2019

The first team squad head to Portugal next week in good shape after hitting the ground running in pre-season.

Manager Sean Dyche declared himself delighted at the fitness levels of his players following their first full week back at the Barnfield Training Centre.

And now the focus shifts to warm-weather training at an elite sporting camp on the Algarve, where long-term plans can be put into practice.

“It’s been a good first week. The lads are looking in good shape, which is always a plus,” insisted Dyche.

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“Pre-season is there for a reason and that’s to get them fit, but it’s always nice when they come back well because you can then look to fast-track things.

“It’s also a more traditional pre-season than last year, when we had the Europa League to prepare for.

“It gives the players a more familiar plan of where we are going building up to the first game, and that involves six weeks of ramping things up, where everything is meticulously planned.

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“You still have to be flexible in terms of picking up niggly injuries, illnesses and bedding in new players.

“But the outline plan has been laid down a long time ago. We’ve had this soft start, with this weekend off and then, of course, we go away to Portugal for a good week’s work.”

The full contracted Clarets squad will head out to Portugal, including all the international players who have been given an extra week off. Skipper Tom Heaton, Irish trio Kevin Long, Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady, Icelandic winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Czech striker Matej Vyrda will all travel.

Bermudan international Nahki Wells, back at the club following a season on loan at QPR, has been granted an extra week off due to his involvement in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Youngsters Jimmy Dunne, Ali Koiki and Josh Benson will complete the travelling party.

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Meanwhile, the search for new recruits goes on, albeit with no news of any imminent arrivals.

“Everyone knows, and I don’t have to keep saying this, that we have certain financial parameters we have to adhere to, and it’s tough,” said Dyche.

“That’s not doing anyone down and it’s not a negative; it’s just speaking the truth and that’s always the best way to be, in my view.

“We have to find the players who can fit the club and who fit into the right price level and the right contract level, which is always getting tougher.

“That often means we are not the first ones to get that player, due to the simple facts there are clubs out there with more financial prowess than us.

“It’s a big challenge, but we’ve had that before and we have it again this summer."

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Dyche added: “We just have to work as hard as we can to get the right players in who can, first of all at least keep us strong, but really to move us on.

“That’s literally, in terms of good players who we feel can slot straight in, but also to improve the group strength because in the first half of last season we were really stretched.

“That’s when you realise how important a squad really is. Early last season was a really important time to use a squad and we had our first experience of having a really tough time with injuries, which makes you realise what you need.

“The balance to that is you can only have so many players because we can only afford so many.

“That’s the way the Chairman and the Board want the club to be run and that’s the way we’ve run it.

“We’ve all combined to do a good job in that respect and now it’s a case of moving it forwards the best way we can.”


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