BURNLEY boss Sean Dyche has played down injuries to midfielder Dean Marney and goalkeeper Tom Heaton after the pair missed yesterday’s 8-0 pre-season friendly thrashing of FC Grossklein.
Marney flew home ahead of the game to have treatment on an Achillies injury while Heaton is nursing a groin knock but remained in Austria to watch Burnley convincingly see off their Austrian opponents thanks to two goals apiece from debutants Marvin Sordell and Lukas Jutkiewicz, a brace from Ashley Barnes and further strikes from Scott Arfield and Jason Gilchrist.
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Both Marney and Heaton would have likely played some part in the friendly had they been fit but, with Burnley just four weeks away from their Premier League opener with Chelsea, Dyche was not prepared to take any risks.
And he believes the pair will be fit for the start of the season, with Marney the biggest concern.
The Turf boss said: “Dean had a previous niggle in the Achillies and we just wanted to make sure it was nothing untoward.
“We don’t think it is – and he has trained while he has been here – but it’s something that we wanted to clear up as best we can, so Ally Beattie (physio) made the decision that it’s best that he flies home to have it checked out. But as I say we are pretty sure it’s nothing too major.”
Injured striker Sam Vokes was another to miss out on the friendly victory but he did travel to Austria with the squad as he continues his recovery from the cruciate ligament injury which cut short his campaign last season.
And the Welshman said he was slowly stepping up his recovery with a date not yet earmarked for his return.
Vokes said: “Hopefully in the next two to four weeks I can step up to jogging and slowly progressing to running and then football movements.
“It takes time though. It’s not a quick injury to heal and I’m just going to give it the best opportunity I can.”
Dyche will have been pleased with what he saw in yesterday’s opening pre-season game – especially with his strikers as Jutkiewicz and Sordell both made goalscoring starts to their Clarets careers.
But the Burnley boss will have been equally pleased with a number of his squad getting minutes as they step up their preparation for the Premier League.
“We are not looking for miraculous performances,” said Dyche. “We’re just looking for people to come through injury free and begin to gain the fitness that comes with playing.”
Burnley will now return to the UK ahead of Saturday’s friendly at Accrington Stanley.