SEAN Dyche has described Mark Howard as ‘the outstanding candidate’ after the Clarets confirmed the appointment of their new head of sports science.

The 35-year-old joins Burnley after leaving a similar role at Blackburn Rovers last year.

Howard had previously worked with Sam Allardyce at Bolton, Newcastle and Rovers, as well as having spells with Coventry and Fulham.

He replaces fitness coach Jon Dalzell, who had been brought in by previous boss Eddie Howe but recently departed Turf Moor.

Dyche said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to the club.

“We looked at a number of people from different areas and different sports to fill the role and felt that Mark was the outstanding candidate.

“He has a good history, with 10 years’ experience and is well thought of in the game.

“We had good reference points from various sources and we think he is appropriate for the club.”

Howard will be part of a backroom staff already containing assistant manager Ian Woan, first-team coach Tony Loughlan, goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer, head physio Ally Beattie, head of recruitment and analytics Lee Darnbrough, academy manager Jason Blake and development squad manager Simon Weatherstone.

Dyche added: “Mark will take responsibility for the strength and conditioning of the group and the nutritional side.

“His role is to support the players and align them with what we feel is appropriate for the fitness, sharpness and well-being of the players.”

New man Howard added that he was pleased to be in at Turf Moor.

He said: “I heard that Sean was looking for someone to come in and develop something good here over a period of time.

“I managed to make contact and following a meeting here at the training ground, I was fortunate enough to land the job.

“I am delighted to be here and looking forward to the role.

“First and foremost we have a good squad here, who look like they are hungry to learn and be educated.

“That’s where I come in and hopefully I can reinforce what has already been put in place here with some good sports science practice, and make the players available as often as possible and as fit as possible.”