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Barnes Bouncing Back

Striker close to return as Clarets also show their ability to recover

5 March 2020

Ashley Barnes is closing in on a Claret comeback but won’t be ready to face Tottenham at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Barnes has been sidelined since finally giving in to a hernia problem on New Year’s Day.

The six-goal striker has since undergone surgery to repair the damage and following a programme of rehabilitation is getting close to a return to full speed.

“Barnesy is back on the grass with us now, which is another step forward for him, training with the first-team group,” confirmed manager Sean Dyche.

“He’s not ready for this weekend but he’s back in full training, which will do him the world of good, and he’s happy to be out there, of course.”

Barnes goal 1.jpg

The Clarets are likely to go with the squad that drew 0-0 at Newcastle United last weekend to extend their unbeaten run to six games.

Matt Lowton remains under the care of the medical department as he looks to recover from the knee injury that has kept the right-back out for the last three games.

And winger Johann Berg Gudmundsson is still on the absent list with a calf problem.

“Johann is still not quite there. It’s minor, but still a frustrating one for him and for us,” Dyche added.

The in-form Clarets will go above Tottenham in the table if they can repeat their home win of 12 months ago.

That might have seemed unlikely when Spurs won the return fixture 5-0 in early December to go sixth in the Premier League table as Burnley slipped to 13th.

Dyche presser pre-Tottenham March 2020.jpg

But while Spurs have stuttered in recent weeks in the injury-enforced absence of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min – who shared three of the five goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Dyche’s men remain one of the form teams of the division.

And the Clarets’ chief believes a lot has changed since their demise in north London as his side closes in on the 40-point mark in potentially record time as a Premier League club.

“That can happen in the Premier League,” said Dyche.

“You catch teams, especially at the top end of the market, on the right day and you have a soft day then you get hurt. That happens to all teams, not just us.

“We learn from all these different situations over a season.

“That was a long time ago and we are probably in a different shape now, mentally, physically, tactically and technically.

“I think we’ve had a shift from then to now, so we’ve got to go and deliver, of course.”

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