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Sean Dyche believes Burnley have better squad depth this season

·3 min read

Sean Dyche believes Burnley are better placed to compete on multiple fronts this season as he shifts attention to Tuesday’s Carabao Cup clash with Rochdale.

Dyche often struggled for numbers last term, the result of a squad depleted as departing players were not replaced last summer before injuries bit to further reduce his options.

Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal left Burnley still without a Premier League win this season so it is obvious where Dyche’s priorities lie as he plans his team selection, but there is no question he has better options thanks to the summer signings of Maxwel Cornet, Nathan Collins, and Connor Roberts.

Dyche made six changes for the trip to Newcastle in the previous round – a tie Burnley won on penalties – and is expected to field a similar side with the likes of Collins, Wayne Hennessey, Phil Bardsley, Erik Pieters, Jack Cork, Aaron Lennon and Jay Rodriguez hoping to start against League Two opposition.

“I think we’ve got a better fitness level than last season to make changes,” Dyche said. “We’ve got players who need games for the right reasons who will figure. We need to make sure we’re sharp.

“We want to put out a side who can win a game. That’s an important factor. We won at Newcastle, we had to work very hard for that and got through on penalties but it was a side I felt could win that game, and we will put out a side tomorrow night that’s capable.

“Being competitive comes from performances. If players are playing at the top of their game, I think I could put out any 11 that could win the game, but you’ve got to make sure they’re playing at that level.

“But yes, I think we’ve got a bit of a better depth to our squad now and the quality.”

Cornet was the headline signing of the summer as the Ivory Coast international joined from Lyon late in the transfer window.

The versatile 24-year-old made his debut in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal and could feature again to aid his integration, but Dyche urged patience when it came to expectations placed on the player.

“He’s a player who is adapting to what it is to be here, he’s adapting to the Premier League,” Dyche said. “Physically he found it tough in the period he was on, that comes with the pace of the Premier League.

“But he’s a player who has talent, who can affect the situation going forwards but he’s also a player where we’ve got to find the moments when he’s physically right as well as having the understanding to play in the Premier League.”

A win for Burnley would be their first at Turf Moor since January. Dyche insisted he was not concerned where his side picked up results, but he is confident recent performances will be rewarded sooner rather than later.

“We go into every game trying to win and there’s never been a lack of edge in our trying,” he said. “In the Premier League it’s tough to win games. We know how to do it, we’ve not done it so far, but we will do.

“We like the energy the crowd did bring on Saturday, they were firmly behind the team and the players responded to that. I thought the players responded but we’ve got to turn those strong performances into wins.”

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