Sean Dyche feels Burnley were ‘unfortunate’ with injuries which robbed them of several key players for long spells last season.

The Clarets had to be without midfielder Steven Defour for much of the season after the Belgian international required surgery on a troubling calf injury.

Winger Aaron Lennon picked up knee ligament damage in defeat to Tottenham in December which ended his season, while Robbie Brady was also sidelined for long spells.

And while Dyche is hoping to add more depth to his squad this summer, he’s also looking for more luck where injuries are concerned.

He said: “I think, what we’ve done, we’ve been unfortunate with injuries over the last 12 months, that’s affected it.

“Not necessarily better equipped in the sense of, they can’t all just be brilliant again overnight, but you’d like to think, come the beginning of next season, I’d like to think it’s improbable we’ll have that many injuries, from the start point.

“You’re stronger by the nature of just having more available players.

“The idea is to keep narrowing down the list until you get to a group of players that fit as many of the boxes as possible. 

“In our world that’s difficult. If you think of age range, availability, productivity for now and the future, contractually, fees. 

“That’s why it’s such a difficult market for us. The club do want a lot of boxes ticked.

“It’s ongoing links and conversation. We have to keep thinking about what comes in and what goes out. 

“We’re stronger now with what goes out. It’s keeping your eye on the market.”

Burnley’s improved display in the second half of the season, which saw them finish 15th, six points above the dropzone, hasn’t changed Dyche’s thinking when it comes to the transfer window.

“No, I still think I know what we need - what we needed, and what we need,” the Turf Moor boss said.

“The reason I spoke about my pride in the players earlier in the season, when we weren’t winning, is people have short-term memories, which is life now.

“But I don’t. I know what some of these players have done for the club year on year.

“So if they have a bad spell, then we’re not just going to throw them under the bus.

“I’m going to say ‘I’m right here, still with you’ , it doesn’t make you a bad player overnight because you have a few bad results, all it does is rubber-stamp it when things go well, it shows why I have pride in them, because when it’s going well, they’ve done the things I know they can do.

“It’s never in question, the pride side of things.”

Dwight McNeil burst on to the scene this season and the 19-year-old has been rewarded with national team honours. 

The winger came in to a struggling Burnley side over Christmas and has been one of the reasons Dyche’s side were able to secure Premier League football for yet another season.

He trained with the full England squad after earning a call-up to the under 20s group and Dyche has been delighted with the winger’s impact in his 25 appearances in which he scored three goals.

“If you’re a young player, you better be performing straight away because if you’re not, you’re going to get a bit and then the manager gets a bit for playing them,” added Dyche.

Dyche added: “Fortunately, in Dwight’s case, he’s delivered straight away. 

“As soon as he got a look in, he’s delivered. 

“While he’s been delivering all the other young players have been looking at him and believing. 

“It really enhances young players at Burnley and in the Premier League.”