Flanagan likely to miss opener

Loan signing Jon Flanagan
Loan signing Jon Flanagan

Loan signing Jon Flanagan is expected to miss Saturday’s Premier League opener as he gets his fitness up to speed.

Flanagan signed a season-long loan from Liverpool on Friday night.

But, with the complication that he will be unable to face his employers in the second game of the campaign a week on Saturday, the 23-yearp-old is likely to come into contention for the trip to Chelsea on August 27th.

Boss Sean Dyche was delighted to add the England international to his options, and he said: “He needs the work, so he’ll have that window to get really ready.

“We’ll see about next week, we’ll do some testing over the next few days, but he hasn’t played a lot of football so we’ll make sure he’s well enough to play rather than wondering. We’ll test him.

“The initial period we think he’s behind the curve fitness wise. He’s only played three 45s, so we’ll get him fit first.

“You know how we like to operate here, we’re like to make sure the players are ready to play, rather than using the game to get them ready, so there’ll be some work to be done, but he’s a good character and he’ll adapt to the squad very quickly.”

Flanagan was a regular in the Liverpool side in 2014 that came so close to the club’s first title since 1990, before being sidelined by knee problems, but Dyche has no issue with his fitness in general: “He played at the end of the season, played pre-season, we’re happy with the reports from Liverpool and our own reports.

“I think he’s eager to come through that period and get on with his football.

“He’s still quite young, but he’s had the big end of the experience, playing in the side that pushed it so close to winning it, so I think that experience is worth a lot.

“He’s played in some really big and important games.

“He’s playing at a big club, who at that time were competing right at the top end of it, so there’s enormous pressure and stress.

“He’s certainly shown he can do that, but we’ll get him fit and ready and mixed in with the group.”

Burnley are not short of full back options, but Dyche added: “We felt we were lightish across the back line. We are in other areas as well that we’re active with.

“He can play either full back position, he has played in both.”