Burnley boss Sean Dyche keen to avoid Covid-disrupted bid for top-flight safety

The Clarets boss already has one eye on January.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche is keeping his fingers crossed over Covid-19 (Richard Sellers/PA)

Burnley manager Sean Dyche is keeping his fingers crossed over Covid-19 (Richard Sellers/PA)

By Damian Spellman, PA

Sean Dyche is keeping his fingers crossed that Covid-19 cases do not disrupt his efforts to guide Burnley to Premier League safety.

After seeing Tottenham counterpart Antonio Conte become the latest manager left counting the cost of a coronavirus outbreak at his club, Dyche insisted the health of his players and staff remained the ultimate priority but admitted the disruption caused by the illness could cause real problems.

The Clarets manager, who will send his side into battle with West Ham on Sunday, said: “We’re all trying to live our lives in some kind of normal [way]. I don’t think we can constantly worry about it.

“It’s not ideal, I’m sure of that, quite obviously, but I think we’ve just got to adhere to the rules that are advised from the medical situation and hope that it doesn’t happen, hope that it doesn’t have an outbreak or a pod or whatever you wish to use in your group and your team and if so, just it doesn’t affect anyone.

“We’ve had one with Dale Stephens recently. It was a one-off, nobody else involved and that’s what you’re hoping for to bring a protective element to what we’re trying to do.

“And the bigger picture, of course, is the game schedule as well. It’s no-one’s fault, quite obviously, but it knocks on to the game schedule and games keep getting replaced and stuff like that, so there’s a lot more to it,

“Health is the main thing, but then behind that, there’s a lot of planning, there’s a lot of organisation, there’s a lot of things it knocks on to.”

Dyche’s players will resume the battle for priceless points having already had their Christmas party – “I wasn’t there. I’m positive I wasn’t there. It wasn’t my party,” said Dyche when asked how it had gone – and with the manager already casting one eye towards January.

He has spent recent weeks reading speculation that soon-to-be-out-of-contract defensive duo James Tarkowski and Ben Mee could be targets for Newcastle as they prepare to wield their new-found riches for the first time.

However, he remains relaxed about the situation and even suggested he could be active too with new owners also in place at Turf Moor.

Dyche said: “If there are options available, then we’ll certainly be looking at them, which we are doing now.

“That’s an ongoing thing from the club and it has been, but it’s probably slightly more open-minded, I would suggest, now in this ownership about what we can do, so we’re certainly looking at options of what we can possibly do.”


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