When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Burnley midfielder to miss pre-season kick-off
MIDFIELDER Marvin Bartley is set to miss the start of Burnley’s pre-season fixture programme after being told to rest an ankle injury.
The 26-year-old has been struggling with the problem since the players returned to their Gawthorpe training base a fortnight ago.
The former Bournemouth midfielder has been seen by two specialists to assess the injury, and although it is not thought to be serious, Bartley’s absence is likely to heighten the need for midfield reinforcements as the new campaign approaches.
“It leaves us with just Dean Marney and Chris McCann as recognised first team midfielders. It’s an area we know we needed to look at and add numbers to,” said manager Eddie Howe, who will take his squad, including new signings Jason Shackell, Joseph Mills, Luke O’Neill and George Porter, to Blue Square Bet North outfit Altrincham for their first friendly tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
“We have a slight concern over Marvin Bartley, who’s had a problem with his ankle for a while and has been to see a couple of specialists and told to rest for a few weeks.
“He’ll be out for a period, hopefully not too long. It’s nothing serious.”
But with only two other senior central midfielders in the ranks, and Cameron Howieson away on Olympic duty with New Zealand, it has heightened the need for additions.
With three of Howe’s four summer signings boosting the defence the Burnley boss is now looking to strengthen in other areas.
Midfielder Brian Stock, Howe’s former Bournemouth team-mate, is understood to be high on his list of targets.
Finances, specifically for wages, could dictate whether that move is able to go ahead or not.
But at this stage of pre-season, Howe admits he is relatively pleased with the quality and quantity of players he has been able to bring in.
“I’m reasonably happy,” he said.
“Jason Shackell was a key transfer for us, for numerous reasons - we can see the effect he’s had in training already, how impressive he looks, and his leadership skills have already come to the fore, so we’re really pleased with him.
“Joseph gives us nice balance in our defence now, so we’re really pleased with how we look in that area, we have cover and are really strong in every position, with real competition for places.
“We’ve signed Joseph with a view to a permanent move, that’s how we like to use the loan market.
“He fits our profile as the type of player we like to recruit in terms of his athletic profile and his age and attitude, so hopefully he’ll be another good signing for us.”
He added: “We’ve made a good start to our rebuilding, although there are still a couple of areas we’d like to strengthen.
“But we’re ticking them off as we go.
“As always we’ve got to be careful financially, that we don’t overstretch ourselves, so it’s a case of doing the deals we can, and moving on to try and get the next one.”
As well as Stock, Howe has also been linked with another move for Wolves striker Sam Vokes, who spent time on loan at Turf Moor last season.
“Sam’s someone we like, he did well for us last season,” said Howe.
“We’ll wait and see, but we are a little bit short in that area. It’s a position we’re looking to add numbers to.”
Comments are closed on this article.