SEAN Dyche says he is trying to define just why Burnley have been plagued by injuries in recent months.

The Clarets have been hit hard ever since football resumed in June – struggling to fill their bench towards the end of last season – while this term they have fared little better with key personnel missing.

Burnley were without six senior players for Saturday’s 5-0 defeat at Manchester City while Ben Mee, Erik Pieters and Johann Berg Gudmundsson have only recently returned to first-team action.

It has been tough on the Turf Moor club who slipped back in to the bottom three following defeat at the Etihad.

While injury woes appear to be easing, Dyche said all potential reasons for the spate of problems are being examined as the Clarets strive to get back up to full strength.

“We came out of that lockdown period really fit. The players had really looked after themselves, so I was surprised by that spate of injuries,” Dyche told the club website.

“We had the three-and-a-bit-weeks’ break which I thought would bring back a clear-mindedness for all the players. It hasn’t and we’ve had more and more injuries.

“We have looked at training schedules, diet, planning, game schedules.

“The game schedule is peculiar, and we have had games all over the place.

“But even that, these are professional athletes and we know all about that.

“We have been in the Premier League long enough to know the games can be all over the place.

“We are still trying to define that, other than maybe it’s just the way it is.

“Sometimes you get these periods of injuries. Maybe it’s just one of those things, but we are analysing it and we are working closely with the sport science and the physios to see if there are things we’re not quite working out.”

Burnley are now preparing for a run of seven games inside a month starting with Saturday’s visit of Everton.

And Dyche is hoping Nick Pope, Phil Bardsley, Josh Brownhill, Dale Stephens and Robbie Brady will all be back in contention sooner rather than later to help cope with the workload.

Jack Cork remains the only longer-term absentee as he continues to build up his fitness levels after being out of action since June following a fracture to the foot.