CLARETS assistant boss Jason Tindall isn’t alone in wanting to keep an exciting young Burnley team together.
But if the club can’t ward off inevitable interest in their star turns, he hopes the management are given time to readjust and avoid a repeat of last summer.
Jay Rodriguez is already attracting interest from a glut of clubs, with Premier League sides Everton and Fulham believed to be heading a pack which also includes SPL winners Celtic.
Player of the Year Kieran Trippier is also being monitored by top-flight clubs after a superb debut season, while skipper Chris McCann could also be targeted.
Last year, the club lost Chris Eagles and Tyrone Mears to Bolton with a fortnight to go to the start of the season, and Danny Fox to Southampton after the first two games of the new campaign.
And Tindall is eager to avoid such disturbances late in the club’s pre-season preparations this time round.
He said: “If there is any interest from any club, you’d like it to happen sooner rather than later – and that goes for any one of our players.
“The sooner it happens, it gives us that little bit more time to prepare ourselves to maybe replace the bodies that might leave.
“From the players’ point of view, it gives them time to settle in to their new environment if they were to move away.
“I think for all parties, if it is going to happen, it would be better if it happened sooner.
“But hopefully we can hold on to our better players, because we do want to be successful and achieve things, and to do that you do need your best players.
“Hopefully we can do that. The reality is all good players are going to be linked with better opportunities.”
Fulham have already had a £5m bid turned down for Rodriguez – with the club turning down higher bids last summer, and subsequently in January for the 21-goal top scorer.
Tindall would like nothing more than to hold on to a player the club value in the region of £8m, but if money talks, the ideal scenario is to sort things out before pre-season.
He said: “It was a hugely frustrating summer last year.
“Pre-season was very difficult, not only for the staff but for the players as well.
“When you see three of your best players leave your football club so late into pre-season, it’s very difficult.
“I do believe it did affect the players going into the start of the season.
“But we can’t control that, that’s the unfortunate thing about it.
“Hopefully we won’t be having a repeat of last year because it was really frustrating and it made it really difficult for us to rebuild at such a late stage of pre-season.”
Boss Eddie Howe and Tindall had spent the best part of two months drilling a group of players into the shape and system they wanted to utilise, only to have to rethink things after key players were sold.
Tindall added: “It was disheartening and really, really frustrating because you do plan and prepare yourself going into a season with the players you’ve got within your squad at that time.
“All your preparation is pretty much done going into this first game, and when things like happen it does knock you for six and set you back.
“To lose Foxy when we did, at such a late stage, was again a big blow.
“You look at the players that we did lose, two of them are playing in the Premier League now and Foxy went to a club that finished second in the Championship. You can add Jack Cork to that mix as well.
“When you lose players like that they are very difficult to replace, and when you lose them so late, it obviously makes it a lot harder.”