BURNLEY fans should not read too much into the side that lines up against Parma today according to Sean Dyche.

The Clarets boss freely admits that the starting XI for the final friendly of the summer is usually a strong indication of how things look on the opening day of the new season.

But Dyche is delighted with the competition for places he’s seen during pre-season and thinks he will have plenty to ponder right up to the first game of the new Premier League campaign against Southampton at Turf Moor on August 10.

Burnley head into this weekend’s meeting with one of Italy’s biggest names on the back of a thumping 6-1 win over Patrick Vieira’s Nice on Tuesday night. 

“Normally in the last friendly everyone goes ‘that will be the team’,” Dyche said.

“I think this will be the first time when there has been that many good performances during pre-season that I think there could be changes beyond Saturday.

“I will be honest, most managers myself included, normally play what you think is the team in the last one but I think it is tight this season.

“The last game of pre-season might not be the team that starts against Southampton.”

Dyche is faced with a classic managerial dilemma with seven days to go until the real stuff begins.

He has a tough few days ahead when it comes to deciding how his side will look against Southampton but is delighted to see so many players putting their hands up to face the Saints with strong showings in the friendlies.

“On the one hand you want a clear looking squad and people to be laying down a marker and almost picking themselves,” Dyche said. 

“But equally you want ones who you’re not sure whether they were going to, putting their marker down as well. And they are.

“I think there’s a group of players now really showing strong signs.

“The keepers have looked good, Players in the midfield, I think they are all looking good. Everywhere really.

“The pleasing thing for me is really you want to see sharpness, intensity and quality of performance and there’s lots now. There’s lots.

“The clarity during pre-season has been to get to that point and we’re not far away from that.”

Dyche not only has decisions to make on personnel but also formations.

Against Nice, the Clarets played a familiar 4-4-2 in the first half before switching to a more versatile frontline after the interval with Jay Rodriguez playing from the right, Ashley Barnes on the left and Chris Wood, who scored a hat-trick, through the middle.

“Jay Rod offers that flexibility and we know Barnesy can do it, he did it a lot at Brighton and has done it for us in the past,” said Dyche.

“We know Woody can play up there on his own. We know Barnesy can play up there on his own too and probably Jay Rod.

“We just wanted to have a look at it. Dwight (McNeil) can float around the midfield and on this occasion (Jack) Corky and Jeff (Hendrick) were in there as well. 

“It’s nice to have flexibility. Rather than coach it on Tuesday we just wanted to have a look at it.

“I said to them ‘don’t worry about anything, just go and play’.

“Sometimes you let it develop naturally rather than you making it contrived. I thought there were some good moments.”