BURNLEY manager Sean Dyche declared his side “the most stretched” since he took charge, with Junior Stanislas potentially added to the list of casualties.
The Clarets are already definitely without injured striker Sam Vokes and suspended midfielder Dean Marney for tomorrow’s trip to Watford, Kieran Trippier is a doubt despite a full week’s training while it is unlikely that Danny Ings will be fit in time to feature.
On top of that, in training yesterday winger Stanislas complained of a tight hamstring, putting question marks over his availability at Vicarage Road.
However, Dyche expects the situation to look more positive after the weekend in preparation for the midweek trip to Barnsley, with Marney completing a two-match ban tomorrow, while Trippier stands a greater chance of being involved against his old club.
“It’s really positive with Kieran. Saturday (tomorrow) might come too quick for him, we’ve got to be sure on that. We’re as stretched now as we have been probably in my time at the club, because last year we had a bigger squad,” said Dyche.
“But that’s another reason why we’ve got to be super careful because we have got big games coming and it’s not just about Saturday, there are games beyond that. But Kieran’s had a week’s training so we’re really confident of him, possibly not Saturday but beyond that.
“Ingsy’s back on the grass and he’s moving well which is great news, so he’s making a good recovery providing it all keeps going well.
“Junior’s got a tight hamstring, which is a shame because we are stretched at the moment.
“It’s a strange situation, we’re really stretched today and yet come Monday it looks totally different.”
The development squad’s semi final with Manchester City in the the Under 21s Premier League Cup left the squad even lower on numbers in training this week.
“It’s been a challenge because we’ve had about 14 training. The development squad had a big game the other night against Manchester City to deal with,” said Dyche.
“That’s been a different scenario for us to work with that low a number.”
Dyche revealed a number of the younger players from the development squad would be travelling with the first team for tomorrow’s game at Watford.
Meanwhile Vokes’ operation, which was due to take place this week, was postponed because the surgeon wanted to allow time for the swelling in the striker’s knee to subside.
“He hasn’t had the operation, the specialist just felt it needed a bit more calming down, purely for the swelling presumably so that he can do the operation as clearly and as cleanly as he wants to do it,” said Dyche.
The Clarets boss added of Vokes: “His spirits are good. It is what it is. Players know what their careers are about and they know that injuries unfortunately can be part of that, it’s just one of those things.
“He’s accepting of it and he knows there’s a recovery period that will mean hard work and graft, he also knows he’s got a great support system here and the positive manner in which the staff and myself work, he knows he’s in a good place.”
The operation is set to be re-scheduled for some time in the next week to 10 days.