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Dyche: Players Are Laying Down Markers

27 July 2019

Sean Dyche feels some of his players are already staking strong claims to be in his starting line-up for the Premier League season.

The Clarets stepped up their pre-season campaign with a 2-2 draw away at Championship side Wigan Athletic, who came from two goals down as they prepare to start their own league campaign next weekend.

But with two weeks until the Clarets face Southampton in the curtain-raiser at Turf Moor, Dyche admitted he was pleased with how his squad is shaping up.

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He said: “There are a few players really putting strong markers down now. You always hope when you come to the end of pre-season that the team sort of picks itself, both through performance levels and the fire in their eyes.

“In my opinion there are a few who are putting down real markers. I’m not going to tell you who though!”

Dyche, whose side led at the DW Stadium through goals in the opening 10 minutes from Jay Rodriguez and Dwight McNeil, added: “In the early part of the game I thought we were excellent.

“We had total control of proceedings in the right way, against a side who did well last season to stay in the Championship. You could tell they are game ready and we are not far off.

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“We still have two weeks to go and we are locking in those minutes, and we haven’t really gone into a game yet fully prepared because we work hard during the week.

“Some of our play was excellent and we scored two really good goals, but also it was good in terms of sharpness, which we know is coming.

“We had a couple of horrible moments in the first half, which changed the flow and led to the goal and then in the second half it became a bit more topsy-tursy, but we need the minutes in the players and so the shape lost itself a little.

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“But there were still some really good signs and certainly in terms of sharpness and the detail.”

Nick Pope (groin), Ben Gibson (ankle) and Robbie Brady (ribs) all missed out on the friendly, but are all expected to make quick recoveries.

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