SEAN Dyche said it will be "brilliant" when supporters are finally allowed to return to Turf Moor but Clarets fans look like they will have to wait with East Lancashire widely expected to go in to tier three once the national lockdown is lifted next week.

The Government announced on Monday that they were going to allow a limited number of spectators back into venues in lower-risk areas – with 4,000 fans allowed in tier one areas and 2,000 in tier two.

However, venues in the highest-risk tier three areas will still not be allowed to permit spectators, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said with matches to be played behind closed doors.

Speaking after the 1-0 home win against Crystal Palace – the Clarets’ first of the Premier League season – Dyche said: “It’ll be great if they can. It’s a start point, obviously the idea of vaccination and the country recovering… If we can get fans in the stadium it’s great for all.

“Even if it’s limited numbers it brings that feel and that connection back for the fans to the team and the club. Hopefully it’ll build quickly on the back of that.

“We’ve made this a really tough place and the fans play a massive part in that. Of course we’ve missed our fans and if they can come back that’ll be brilliant.”

The Premier League said it was pleased to see the return of fans in the lower risk areas but urged the Government to work on pilot events to increase capacities still further.

“Fans have been greatly missed at Premier League matches and therefore we welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding the return of supporters for the first time since March, albeit at small numbers,” a statement read.

“Our ambition remains to work with Government to increase attendance to more substantial levels. Until this can be done, many fans will be unable to attend games and our clubs will continue to operate matches at a financial loss.

“Our priority continues to be the agreement of a roadmap, with DCMS and the Sports Technology and Innovation Group, for pilot events that can help our clubs quickly scale up to larger capacities in line with the Sports Ground Safety Authority’s COVID-secure guidelines and beyond.

“Premier League clubs have a proven track record of achieving high-biosecurity standards and we believe we can play a significant role in the Government’s rapid turnaround testing initiative. We look forward to working with Government on their next steps.”