BOSS Sean Dyche admits the ability of the Clarets to switch between formations could play a key role in Burnley’s survival chances this season.

Dyche opted to recall Andre Gray back into the starting XI for the weekend draw with Manchester United as he reverted to his favoured 4-4-2 formation.


During Gray’s four game suspension the Clarets had switched to a 4-2-3-1 system which provided more midfield stability and positive results against Watford and Everton as well as a strong performance in the home defeat to Arsenal.

And Dyche knows having the personnel and ability to switch tactics gives Burnley another string to their bow after the two up top move earned a point at Old Trafford.

“It was a really big decision because we had done quite well,” said Dyche of his Gray selection dilemma.

“But away from home we haven’t done so well.

“There is a little bit of freedom when you come to these places because people don’t expect you to get anything.

“We thought, ‘Let’s go and take game on a bit’, and that is why we went with the two strikers in that attempt to be brave.

“We had a couple of key moments which we didn’t take advantage of, which we have to do.

“It didn’t map out perfectly but we had a couple of moments. We broke a few times and had a few threats.

“It worked somewhat. I think there are a lot of things that we will have to continually change to get the challenge done over the season.”

Dyche’s decision to go with Gray could have been influenced by the absence of injured midfielder Steven Defour, with the Clarets boss revealing that the risk of starting the Belgian against United outweighed the reward.

“It would have been a risk and we considered it was too much for him,” said Dyche.

“We felt it was better to give him four or five days’ hard training as I still think he is adapting to what the levels of the Premier League are.”

Defour could return to action against Crystal Palace on Saturday, while full-back Stephen Ward will be assessed after going off with a hamstring injury.