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Long-Term Goal For JBG

Dyche wants wingman back for good as comeback gets nearer

20 February 2020

Sean Dyche hopes Johann Berg Gudmundsson can enjoy an injury-free run-in to the season once he makes it back into the Clarets’ line-up.

Gudmundsson has been restricted to just seven Premier League appearances this term – including four starts – by a hamstring injury which first struck on international duty in October.

A post-Christmas comeback was curtailed by a recurrence of the problem during the Clarets’ FA Cup third-round win over Peterborough.

The winger is back in full training and while Saturday’s visit of Bournemouth may come too soon for a return to the starting XI, Dyche wants the patient approach to pay off in the long run for one of the Clarets' key men.

“He has trained for the last two weeks now,” confirmed the Burnley boss, who is set to have the Icelander back in his match-day squad.

“We would have liked him to have had a game this week, but we all know what the weather’s been like up here and we’ve had a couple called off.

Gudmundsson free kick.JPG

“His general fitness is good and he has been totally active training-wise with us for the last two weeks.

“It’s difficult because players want to get back fit and they want to play.

“He’s been chomping at the bit and we have to be ‘look Jo, you’ve had a tough period. It’s nobody’s fault and we have to make sure you’re almost overly right’.

“It’s frustrating for him because he wants to play. He had a really strong pre-season and started the season.

“He’s just been in and out with the ups and downs of his body and sometimes that can’t be helped.

“The physios have worked endlessly, as has Johann, to do all the right things and put them in place so we’re hopeful he remains injury clear.”

Ashley Barnes will also miss the game against Bournemouth as the Clarets look to extend their unbeaten run to five matches and continue their climb up the table.

The striker is continuing his rehabilitation from hernia surgery and is ‘on plan’ according to Dyche.

Strike partner Chris Wood will require a fitness check on Friday on the hamstring problem he picked up at Southampton last Saturday, when Matej Vydra came off the bench to score the winner and make it 10 points from the last 12 for the in-form Clarets.

Matt Lowton missed the win on the south coast with a knee injury sustained against Arsenal ahead of the player break and is again ruled out for the visit of a Bournemouth side sitting two points and two places above the Premier League’s drop-zone.  

“We thought it had settled down but not enough, so he will miss this weekend,” Dyche added.

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