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Too Soon For Barnes and JBG

New signing Josh Brownhill part of the squad as Clarets look to extend unbeaten run

13 February 2020

Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Ashley Barnes will miss the Clarets’ trip to Southampton but Josh Brownhill has earned his seat on the plane as he beds into life at Burnley.

Barnes and Gudmundsson - who shared the goals in a 3-0 win over the Saints on the opening day of the season - are both recovering well from injury after last tasting Premier League action on New Year’s Day.

But Saturday’s visit to the south coast has come too early for the pair as Barnes continues his rehabilitation from hernia surgery and Gudmundsson works his way back from the recurrence of a hamstring problem.

Boss Sean Dyche confirmed: “Barnesy is doing well. He’s back on the grass with the physios. He’s not training with us yet.

“It’s progressing as we’d expect it to and he’s happy in himself.

Gudmundsson hands on head.jpg

“We are giving Johann an extra period training with us, just to try and balance everything out a little bit because he re-injured the same injury – although nowhere near the same level.

“We have to be careful with that. It’s a bug-bear of the staff and players if you re-injure because you always think you come back once, not twice, and he’s been unfortunate with that.

“We’ll give him an extended period but he’s looking good and he’s trained very well this week.”

Full-backs Charlie Taylor and Matt Lowton will be assessed before the game at St Mary’s where the Clarets will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to four league games against a Southampton side also sitting on 31 points.

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Taylor trained on Thursday and should be fit, provided there is no reaction to a minor hamstring tweak.

But Lowton is rated nearer 50/50 to extend his run in the side after receiving a knock to the knee in the Clarets’ goalless draw with Arsenal ahead of the inaugural Premier League ‘player break’.

As well as some time off to do their own thing, the Clarets have also been able to enjoy an uninterrupted spell of training during the break, which saw just four games scheduled for last weekend and six for this.

That has allowed Brownhill to find his feet following his signing from Bristol City at the end of January.

The midfielder was not involved in the match-day squad against Arsenal, having just arrived from the Championship club.

Brownhill red shirt.jpg

But he will be part of the group that goes to Southampton and Dyche has been pleased with his early impact on the training ground as the 24-year-old looks to make the step up to the top tier.

“He will be travelling and in amongst the group and we like what we’re seeing early on,” added the Burnley boss.

“We’ll see what he can deliver over time, but he’s certainly slipped into the group very nicely.

“I think he will grow into the club, which we often look for. It’s not very often we have signed players who we think are bona fide Premier League players who we just lob onto the pitch and they just take care of themselves.

“We’ve often had to work with the players and I think he’s another one we will do that with.

“I think he’s another one where the group will rub off on him and how we work will rub off on him.

“He’s only been here a couple of weeks and he’s enjoying it.”

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