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Jutkiewicz set for Clarets debut in Austrian friendly
LUKAS Jutkiewicz could be one of five new signings to make their unofficial Burnley debut in the Clarets’ first friendly on Sunday.
The striker is the latest addition to manager Sean Dyche’s Premier League recruitment drive, jetting in on day two of their pre-season tour of Austria to join up with fellow new boys Matthew Gilks, Matt Taylor, Steven Reid and Marvin Sordell.
Dyche’s first summer signing, Michael Kightly, sits out the friendly with FC Grossklein due to injury, but of course is no stranger to Clarets fans having spent almost all of last season on loan from Stoke City.
And Jutkiewicz is eagerly anticipating his first run-out.
“I’m looking forward to getting as much action as I possibly can,” said the 25-year-old, whose £1.5million move from Middlesbrough went through on Tuesday. That meant a quick dash across Europe in time for the second of two training sessions that day.
But the former Everton and Coventry forward felt it was important to be involved with his new team-mates at the earliest opportunity, even if it meant enduring the challenge of what has become known as “the gaffer’s day”, when boss Dyche tests the physical and mental strength of his players.
“It’s been described as more of a mental battle and you can see the strength mentally from the squad last season, how they push themselves over the line and it’s things like those sorts of exercises that can get you there,” said Jutkiewicz.
He joked that he was tempted to put the transfer back a few days to avoid the gruelling session, but added: “It’s always good to get in as early into pre-season as possible and I was keen to get here for the training camp because it’s a good way to integrate yourself with a new team.
“I will be working as hard as I can to get as fit and as sharp for the new season.”
Meanwhile, captain Jason Shackell is confident the training camp will get the Clarets primed for the Premier League.
Of their Austrian base in Bad Waltersdorf last season’s ever-present said: “It’s a great hotel, the food’s been great. There’s been a lot of work but that’s what we need and it will get us ready for the start of the season.
“The lads are looking good and fit.”
And the centre half is impressed with the signings who have been added to the squad since promotion, particularly the experienced players.
“Matty Taylor and Steven Reid have been around a long time so they know what it’s all about,” said the 30-year-old.
“They are great additions to the squad. Gilksy (Matt Gilks) as well. I played with him at Norwich and he is a very good keeper.
“There have been some great additions so far and hopefully we can add one or two more.”
Burnley will wear their new black away kit for the first time on Sunday (kick-off 4pm BST).
And the design has met with Shackell’s approval.
“I really like it. We’ve got two good kits this year,” he said.