Burnley manager Sean Dyche has lauded veteran right-back Phil Bardsley as “an excellent pro” following his most recent performance.
The 35-year-old was restored to the Clarets’ line-up in Monday night’s win at Crystal Palace in place of the injured Matthew Lowton and his display at Selhurst Park drew glowing praise from his manager.
Dyche told Burnley Express: “He is an excellent pro and worked very hard for his performance. Lowts has been unlucky with what has happened to his foot but Bardo has come in and delivered.”
Bardsley, who recently signed a new deal at Burnley while several team-mates saw their contracts expire, did indeed have a solid performance against the Eagles on Monday, winning two aerial duels and one tackle as well as making four clearances (as per WhoScored) in helping the Clarets to keep a clean sheet.
A veteran of 293 Premier League games, he has alternated right-back duties on a near-equal basis with Lowton this season and trumps his younger colleague for some key metrics. Of the duo, Bardsley has won more tackles (2.7 to 2.4) and aerial duels (1.9 to 1.3) per game this term, although Lowton has made more interceptions per game (1.6 to 1.1) and boasts a greater passing success rate (68.6% to 64.4%).
As per premierinjuries.com, the 31-year-old has a stress response to his foot and is unlikely to be back soon, so Bardsley could call the right-back slot his own for Burnley’s remaining fixtures this season and duly endear himself further to Dyche.
Lowton’s injury could have been catastrophic for a Burnley side with a very busy treatment room at the moment, but Bardsley’s decision to extend his stay at the club has ensured that Dyche continues to have a dependable and experienced option at right-back.
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In the wake of the injury to his team-mate, the 35-year-old’s commitment to the Turf Moor cause now looks even more critical and, given his performance averages this season, it is little wonder that his manager has showered him with such high praise.
Burnley fans, what have you made of Bardsley’s performances for the club? Comment below with your views!
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