Burnley manager Sean Dyche has sounded a cautious note about the use of Johann Berg Gudmundsson for the Clarets’ remaining matches this season.
The Iceland winger has had a stop-start campaign due to numerous injuries and has played just 26 minutes since the Premier League returned last month.
As per Lancashire Live, Dyche told reporters ahead of this evening’s clash against Wolves: “It is not easy, the niggly injuries are the worst. If you have a real injury that is serious then you get your head around it, focus on the end and work backwards.
“When you have the little ones and keep breaking down then they are very hard for players. They are very hard emotionally because you want to be out there playing and he has had a pretty long run of that.
“We are trying to be a bit careful with him, much to his enjoyment as you can imagine, but we are trying to safeguard him.”
Gudmundsson’s injury troubles have seen him limited to just four Premier League starts this season, three of which came back in August. A thigh muscle strain kept him out for two months prior to Christmas and the same injury afflicted him again following the festive period. [via TransferMarkt]
A calf injury suffered in training two months ago kept him out of Burnley’s first three matches after the league resumed in June, with a very brief comeback against Sheffield United a couple of weeks ago and a 25-minute appearance off the bench against Liverpool on Saturday in which he struck the crossbar late on.
Do you think Gudmundsson will start a match before the end of the season?
The 29-year-old is pushing for his first start in more than nine months against Wolves this evening, although Dyche may prefer to hold off until the weekend’s trip to relegated Norwich to throw him back into the starting XI.
Dyche has been forced to play left-back Erik Pieters out of position on the right-hand side of midfield in recent games, with central midfielder Josh Brownhill also shoehorned into that role for a period in June.
Gudmundsson’s late shot against Liverpool hinted that he has not lost sharpness despite spending so long on the sidelines and hopefully he can add another start or two to his season’s total, although it is understandable that his manager wants to exercise caution given his injury-ravaged 2019/20 campaign.
Burnley fans, how much of a boost would it to be to have Gudmundsson back starting regularly? Comment below with your views!
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