Burnley are expected to be without new signing Matt Lowton and Fredrik Ulvestad as they get their Championship campaign underway at Leeds tomorrow.
The Clarets kick the season off at Elland Road (12-30 p.m.), with Lowton struggling with a shin problem which kept him out of the final friendly at home to Bradford City on Saturday – a game in which Norwegian international Ulvestad suffered a twisted ankle.
Sean Dyche is unlikely to add to his squad ahead of the game – though he is confident of bringing in fresh faces before the window closes.
He said yesterday morning: “Lowts is unlikely. It’s a strange one, he will need some rest, but how long, we will be governed by how he feels. He has a slim chance for Leeds.
“With Freddie, we were happy with the scan and x-ray, but he won’t be fit.”
Tendayi Darikwa is in line for a league debut after his move from Chesterfield last week, and Dyche has other options within his squad, though he admitted: “We’re fortunate we have depth. We managed to build a deeper squad last season for the Premier League, with no loans available, so we have players who can cover, but we’re getting a bit skinny.”
To that end, the club are trying to improve on the four new recruits they have landed this summer: “We’re still trying to be active, but it’s a tough market.
“We think there are a couple of situations that are going to open up in the next month or so before the end of the window - we’ve been told a couple of situations will open up.
“I get the feeling it is going to be one of those markets where people are holding strong and tight, but there comes a time when clubs will do deals.
“We like the players we’ve got, but it is always about adding to the challenge. Players thrive on that, players come in wanting to do well, and there is increased competition for the ones you have already got.
“It is not about replacement, it’s about the challenge, pushing everyone.”
After the sale of Jason Shackell to Derby County, the club have to appoint a new captain, but Dyche smiled: “We’ve decided but it’s not for your ears just yet! We’ll speak to the relevant people and then let you know.
“I don’t see the drama in it, it is something to be proud of for the the individual, but we look for that mentality in all the players, to take on aspects of the captaincy all over the pitch.”
Burnley fans have come to know what to expect from a Dyche team, but will there be any changes with different personnel?: “You’re always looking to adapt the side, but the fundamentals are in place, with the way the team has operated over a couple of years, at a very high level last season. The structure is good, fitness is very good as we know, and we have a mental strength. We stayed mentally strong last season, and that is a powerful thing. Hopefully we can continue to grow that mentality. We want the new players to be big players for us, and we want further growth from them all.
“We felt there was a chance people would prey on our players, so we have had to adapt, and adapt to the market. The window is open until September 1st and we will look to be active. But the basis of what we want to try and do has always been there. There is always flexibility within that, due to the type of player you have - Jelle Vossen is a different type, we want Jukes to deliver more, Vokesy is coming back stronger, Marvin Sordell goes under the radar...Michael Keane has had a bright pre-season and is a very young centre back with 18 Premier League starts last season, so has had real good development.
“Tendayi Darikwa is a bit of an unknown quantity to the fans, but we’ve kept tabs on him. There is a freshness to the group.”