Scott Arfield has joined Burnley’s growing list of injury concerns.
Arfield is expected to miss Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie at Premier League leaders after picking up a hamstring problem in training this morning.
And with striker Chris Wood and left back Stephen Ward again expected to be unavailable, and Tom Heaton and Robbie Brady also still sidelined, Sean Dyche’s squad is “as stretched as we have ever been.”
Dychewill make changes for the tie, and said: “I just get on with it.
”We are probably, which is unusual for us, a stretched as we have ever been. We at least have a squad that feel is rounded and has more depth.
”I must make it clear, every club has different challenges. Pep Guardiola’s at Manchester City is to win everything, or as much as they can. So it is different.
”A lot of pressure and stress comes up with that.
”Ours is to continue improving. Our overriding thing is to continue improving.
”Everyone has a different measure of where they are at with fatigue, outputs and that kind of thing. That goes in the thinking. We are well aware of our team’s output physically. This run of games hasn’t made our situation. It was before that. I’m not going to blame the fixtures.”
Asked whether he will rotate his side, he admitted: “We’ll have to on this occasion. We have lost players.
”We picked up another niggly one which means Scott Arfield will probably miss.
”We have to. We have no choice. The players have played two games in three days, the bulk of them.
”They are, as much as I work them hard and their will to work hard, humans, and I don’t forget that.
”Scott has a minor hamstring. Nothing major but he’s had to come out of training today. We will see how that settles down but it’s so close to the game it’s improbable.“
Wood has missed the last three games and Ward four: “Woody’s is settling down, but not for this weekend.
”Wardy is going well but not for this weekend.
”Tom Heaton continues to make progress. Obviously Robbie is in the early stages but is making good progress.
”It’s good to have Tarky back with his hand as much as the suspension. Scott is unlikely.”
City are unbeaten in the Premier League, dropping only four points, but have twice been taken to penalties in the Carabao Cup on their way to the semi-finals, by Wolves and Leicester City.
But Dyche anticipates a tough task against Pep Guardiola’s side: “It’s going to be very difficult, because as much as the amount of games they have a considerable squad there.
”They have made it clear they are going about their business.
”It’s just not the magic of the cup, but the magic of football. It offers strange results.
”You know you have to perform well. They could make 11 changes be super strong side on paper.
”I don’t think we overthink the realities of that.
”On the other hand I believe in our squad and they are motivated to play. So that’s the first marker and we will see what else comes.”
Meanwhile, Dyche is monitoring a number of situations, with the transfer window now open for business: “There’s always money there, there’s no question of that.
”There’s an appropriate amount of money of course It’s just the realities.
“It’s not an easy situation, the reality of the market. January is usually a tough period as regards to getting them.
“We are open minded about different situations. There’s a few things we have looked at and we continue to look at. Availability will be the key to it.”
Burnley are under no pressure to boost the squad to climb away from relegation trouble, sitting pretty in seventh, so is there less risk involved?: “No, I don’t think it’s that. I think we were around the 4 to 6 mill profit margin in the summer for player trading. The health in the finances are really good.
”The chairman gives me a good amount to work with but still within the reality of Burnley Football Club.
”They are open minded to what needs to happens. We are in a good situation.
”The market has gone outside the realms of money. It’s about whether you want to pay it or, it’s not about whether it’s appropriate any more.
”Teams run on a different system now. They used to be a balance to the way a club works.
”Even the big clubs would buy and sell accordingly. If you look now nobody is really bothered anymore. They just spend whatever is appropriate to get the next player in.
”The business model of any given club is pushed aside somewhat. A few us, not just us, who have to make sure the business is run properly and appropriately for the size of the club but not all do that.”