SEAN Dyche believes Burney's break without a fixture has come at a good time as the Turf Moor injury crisis continues to bite.

Dyche was without eight first-team players for the trip to Swansea at the weekend with Tom Heaton, Phil Bardsley, James Tarkowski, Steven Defour, Dean Marney, Robbie Brady, Jon Walters and Chris Wood all absent, while Stephen Ward was back in a matchday squad for the first time since December 12.

Those injuries saw Dyche include 18-year-olds Ollie Younger and Dwight McNeil in the travelling party, but the Clarets chief is hoping some of those absent starts could return for the Turf Moor clash with Southampton a week on Saturday.

Tarkowski, Marney and Wood could be in contention for that clash with the Saints with the squad in Portugal for some warm-weather training this week.

“We’re hopeful (of getting bodies back over the break). A couple of weeks have come at the right time, I think the players need a break from it," Dyche said.

“The players coming back fit we’re hopeful with, Wardy as you saw, is back but only just trained last week so he’ll have another couple of weeks under his belt.

“And we’re confident with Woody and Tarky, Dean Marney, and they just add that layer to the squad."

The mounting injuries have hit Burnley had recently with the Clarets now without a win since December 12, a total of 11 league and cup fixtures.

Dyche is hoping that seeing some of the absent players return will provide a lift to the squad and allow Burnley to get back on track.

And the Turf chief admits the injury crisis is the worst he has dealt with in his time at the club.

“Once the group are back together again, they all look around and say ‘alright, this is us getting back to where we are as a collective’, and I think that’s important when you have such a tight knit group," he said.

“We’ve got two of the kids with us at Swansea just in case, and that’s as stretched as it’s ever been since I’ve been at the club, but that’s no excuse.

“We’ve got to take care of our own business, it’s just a fact, that’s all."

Defour and Brady will be out for the rest of the season but captain Heaton is closing on a return and could play for the Under-23s in the next couple of weeks.

Bardsley is struggling with a hamstring problem while Walters has had an operation on his knee.