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Dyche's 'Risk and Reward' Dilemma

14 July 2020

Sean Dyche admits he is entering a game of risk and reward with his walking wounded, as the end of the Premier League season looms.

The injury hit Clarets have been boosted in recent games by the return of Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Chris Wood and Robbie Brady.

Skipper Ben Mee, fellow defender Matt Lowton, midfielder Jack Cork and striker Ashley Barnes, meanwhile, will all miss the remaining three games.

And despite a mammoth effort, with only one defeat in 13 games bridging the three-month shutdown, the Burnley boss insists he is treading gently in the closing 12 days.

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“We are stretched to the limit at the minute and we need a period for those players to get fit,” admitted Dyche.

“We are maxing out and the players available have been absolutely amazing with their energy levels, but the end, when it comes, will be appropriate because we can’t keep getting the injuries we’ve had, which as affected us.

“Players like Johann have stayed resolute to the cause and it’s not easy.

“Niggly injuries are the worst because if you have a serious one you can get your head around it, focus on the end and work backwards form the outcome which is to get fit, of course.

“When you have the little ones and keep breaking down, they are the ones that are really hard, emotionally for players.

“Johann has had a pretty long run of that, but he is showing signs of being clear again now and we are trying to be a bit careful with him, along with Robbie and Chris.

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“It is a risk and reward, when a player has been out so long through injury.

“At some point you have to test it and that’s by playing, but the idea that it’s likely to be a short closedown between the two seasons, means we have to be careful.

“We are trying to find the right amount of work and be delicate about it, so it is tricky.”

The Clarets host Wolves with a European place still a possibility. Victory would close the gap to two points behind the Midlands outfit, who currently sit in sixth spot.

And Dyche, whose side were unlucky not to win at Molineux early in the season, while Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were juggling Premier League and Europa league commitments, anticipates another tough test of his side’s credentials.

“I think they are a good side. They had a tough start to the season with the Europa league, but came out of it quicker than us,” admitted Dyche.

“I like what they do and they have a good mix in the squad and a manager that doesn’t make too many changes.

“There are nothing but positives for me on what they achieve and the manner they go about it.

“They are still pushing, but coming off the back of the Liverpool game there is a good energy and a good feel about the group and we know we have to be ready again to get what we want.”

Clarets Player will have full match commentary from 5.45pm on Wednesday, with club captain Ben Mee joining us on commentary. CLICK HERE for details.


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