SEAN Dyche believes Premier League clubs cannot “cry” about their hectic schedules and have to take the rough with the smooth to get the campaign completed.

The Clarets are back in action at Manchester City tonight, playing their first game in 108 days as the top flight gets back into the swing of things amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With the long lay-off without real competitive football and games coming thick and fast to play the final nine matches, there are fears about the increased risk of injury, something the German Bundesliga has experienced since its resumption.

But Dyche, always an advocate of completing the season, believes sides simply have to adapt to the ‘new normal’.

“These are the realities, everyone wanted the season to go ahead, including ourselves, you can't then cry it in,” the Clarets boss said ahead of the game at the Etihad.

"That's the unfortunate side of players not really having that game schedule to get themselves to the best of fitness before the real thing.

"In a normal summer, most of our players would lock in three 90 minutes and probably a couple of halves. Some will play four or five 90 minutes.

"When you think we've had one or two at best, and only one player has had two 90s, there's bound to be something just missing off the top of their fitness level.

"They can do all the work, but that Premier League match fitness comes from playing.

"If there are injuries, and we hope there's not. we'll have to look at the training schedules as best we can.

"Everyone is in the same boat so we'll prepare and deliver performances as best we can.”

Premier League managers are now allowed to name nine substitutes, five of which can be used, with a drinks break coming in each half owing to the fact that the season has stretched into the summer months.

Dyche has issues in that Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and Johann Berg Gudmundsson are already out, with the Turf Moor boss having made no secret of the uncertainty surrounding the out of contract members of his squad.

"We're already stretched,” he said. "We've had to be more delicate, and we have the contract situation in the background so we can't afford to lose too many.

"The thing that will affect us is squad size. And psychologically it's summer, and players don't normally play in this period, unless it's an international tournament.

"It is a period of changing weather as well. It's a different ball game to February or whatever.

"That could affect injuries, fatigue, rehydration, we'll have to wait and see. It all has to go into the thought process.”

Like all sides, Burnley will be keen to hit the ground running on their return but Dyche acknowledges that even before considering the level of opposition they will face, that is easier said than done.

"I think, as a collective, there's a good spirit here and a good belief in what we do,” the Clarets boss said.

"We couldn't get everyone as many 90 minutes as we'd like, and that often forms the bond of the team and anyone who might come into the team.

"The early games are going to be almost like the end of a pre-season bizarrely.

"The games on Wednesday were sort of nearly there, but just lacking that bit of sharpness.

"So this all has to be adapted to, getting that last edge of fitness which comes from playing games.”