BURNLEY are expected to be without centre back Michael Duff for at least another fortnight.
But boss Sean Dyche admits a dip into the loan market to ease his absence is hindered by the finances available.
Duff missed the games with Millwall and Birmingham with a hamstring problem, only to return at Peterborough last week and suffer a calf injury which ruled him out of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Bolton.
And pending the results of a scan yesterday, the 35-year-old is likely to sit out the home games against Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough, with his chances of returning for the trip to Brighton also up in the air.
The Northern Ireland international has played a key role under Dyche, featuring in the side on six of the seven occasions they have kept a clean sheet since the manager took the reins at the end of October.
He was missed at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday as Bolton came from behind to win, going more direct after the introduction of Craig Davies, David Ngog and Kevin Davies, and Dyche said: “We’ll find out more on Monday from a scan, but he might be a few weeks or certainly a couple, we’ll see how that settles down, but he’s been an important player for us and has done very well.
“We’ll find out more this week, we don’t think he’s near it, which is a blow to us.
“We’ve just got people back fit then we lose another one.
“But we feel that the squad is important and it’s time for people to stand up and be part of that.”
Ross Wallace and Junior Stanislas were also withdrawn with niggles as Dyche explained: “Ross has just had a little tiny tweak on his knee, we’re hoping that’s nothing.
“And Junior’s groin was tight so we had to get him off. We’ve had a few injuries so we wanted to make sure we got them off sharpish.”
Dyche is yet to bring his own players into the club after his arrival, with finances not permitting during the transfer window in January, but with the loan window now open, and having been without Ben Mee since the derby with Blackburn at the start of December, he was asked whether that was an avenue he would pursue this week: “It’s finding how it fits with the club’s finances and the model going forward, and the appropriate player of course.
“But the figures are quite large for some of the players you’re going for.”
Instead, Dyche hopes his players can take on the lessons from Saturday to keep their play-off hopes alive.
Despite only taking a point from the last nine available, with Middlesbrough losing their last five league games, the Clarets, in ninth, remain four points from Boro in sixth.
And Dyche said: “We learn, we move forward.
“The players will learn, we’ll debrief on Monday, we’ll have a chat about it, there are many things going on and the team are adapting
“It’s a work in progress, I keep saying that.
“We want to force our way in there, we want to be at the top of the league, of course.
It takes time, there has got to be a rationale behind all that thinking, there’s got to be an education process.
“It’s well and truly in place as everyone’s seen, but I’m always wanting more, its just the way I’ve always been, from myself, from my coaches, from my players, from all areas of the club.
“That mentality is building and it’s nearly where I want it, but it needs to keep building and get stronger and tougher, and show the different ways of winning games.”
• THE Clarets’ youth team fixture at Bury has now been brought forward by 24 hours and will be played on Friday at 2 p.m. at Gigg Lane.
• BURNLEY have cut admission prices for their Championship clash with Hull City.
The game at Turf Moor on Monday, March 11th (kick-off 7-45 p.m.) has now been changed to a bronze category match, which means tickets are available to adults from £22.
Ticket prices are: Adults from: £22 (member), £25 (non-member).
Senior from: £12 (member), £15 (non-member)
16-18 and NUS from: £11 (member), £14 (non-member)
U16 from: £9 (member), 11 (non-member)
Tickets for are now on sale from the Turf Moor Ticket Office, from the Clarets Store @ Charter Walk, Burnley, on the phone at 0871 221 1914 and online.