BURNLEY have welcomed a triple squad boost ahead of tonight’s game at relegation threatened Barnsley, with Danny Ings, Kieran Trippier and Dean Marney all in contention to start.
The Clarets were down to the bare bones at Watford on Saturday, with the trio and long-term casualty Sam Vokes all missing, while midfielder David Jones was withdrawn in the second half through illness.
But while manager Sean Dyche always knew he would have Marney available tonight, following the completion of the midfielder’s two-match ban, news of Trippier and top scorer Ings’ return to fitness is timely, while Jones is also available for selection.
“Tripps had another good weekend and has been on the grass all weekend so we’re considering him back in the group, and Ingsy has had another good few days on the grass so he comes back into consideration,” said Dyche.
Ings, who suffered an ankle injury in the 3-3 draw at Birmingham last month, was expected to be just behind Trippier on the comeback trail. The right back’s hamstring strain, picked up in the subsequent game against Leeds, was thought to have a quicker recovery time.
But Ings has made good progress in training to put him in Dyche’s thoughts for Barnsley.
“We’ve just been monitoring it through the specialists and the physio, and we ask him how he's feeling.
“He said ‘I’m feeling great’. He looks after himself anyway, which is always a good thing when players are injured.
“He’s been chomping at the bit, same with Kieran, so we’ve had to make sure because we’re going into an important part of the season. We couldn’t just throw people back in willy-nilly and risk them.
“So it’s good that he’s feeling good in his body and his mind, and he certainly is at the moment,” added Dyche, who is set to reunite Marney and Jones in midfield.
“It was a strange one with David, he just felt under the weather but he’s fine now,” he said. “And Dean Marney is back from suspension.”
After having to make do and mend, with Scott Arfield playing out of position at Watford, but still managing to conjure the equalising goal, Dyche admits he has been posed with selection problems given how well new signing Chris Baird has performed at right back in Trippier’s absence.
“I think there are a few (who have given selection headaches) and I think that’s a great position to be in,” said the Clarets boss.
“It’s been a funny two-week period where we got stretched to the max and had two games in that period, came out of it, and now all of a sudden it looks different again, it looks like players are coming back into the fold and all of a sudden we have got numbers. To have those three players – in a squad the size of ours three makes a big difference.
“Of course Sam Vokes is unfortunately longer term, but we are looking stronger and the great sign for me is that physically we look so strong again at an important time of the season.
“The players are willing to go harder and harder. They’re just relentless in what they’re achieving, physically. And if that’s right we’ve got the quality to back that up.”
But Dyche hinted that he would revert back to the players who instigated Burnley’s promotion push.
“Players keep laying down markers, but within that there are players who have done a fine job for a lot of games and I think there’s always that feeling towards the players who have done that because they’ve earned the right,” he said.