Burnley take inspiration from the best

Barcelona's Lionel Messi
Barcelona's Lionel Messi
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Former Clarets boss Stan Ternent once uttered the immortal phrase: “It’s Burnley, not Barcelona” as the club got to grips with the ITV Digital collapse over a decade ago.

The quote even became the title of a book, based on the events of the 2002/03 season.

But the Clarets got to see the Catalan masters at first hand last Sunday as they prepared for a four-day training break in Alicante.

Boss Sean Dyche feels some hard work in the warm(er) weather has done the squad some good: “We did a lot of work in Spain, it was just nice to have a change of surroundings.

“It wasn’t hot, it was quite mild, 15 degrees or so, but the sun was in the sky and we managed to take a bit of the culture in, and get down to Valencia to see Levante play Barcelona last Sunday.

“It was a good atmosphere and it was nice to see that style of football, and the whole feel of it, watching some of the best players in the world.”

Ross Wallace was among the party, and is closing in on a return, having been out since August after knee surgery.

Dyche said: “Ross trained regularly with us all week, and he just needs that 90 minutes now, so we’re hoping he can get that on Wednesday, if the weather isn’t too disruptive.”

Wallace played twice for the development squad three weeks ago, but saw once opportunity to play 90 minutes denied by the weather, with another behind-closed-doors outing postponed.

Wallace would add to the competition for places out wide, joining the pool already fighting for places.

Scott Arfield has been a virtual ever-present in Wallace’s absence, while Keith Treacy is currently in possession of a jersey, ahead of Michael Kightly and Junior Stanislas.

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