Date: 16th March 2017 at 10:17pm
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Manager Sean Dyche has been in front of the media this week previewing the weekend’s clash against bottom placed Sunderland.

With up to eight players out on international duty later this month with call ups being made, Burnley could have potentially had more players travelling given injury shelved Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s call up for Iceland.

With England manager Gareth Southgate naming Tom Heaton and Michael Keane in his squad, it was reported that Andre Gray was close to being called up as well, so speaking to the Official Site Dyche said it could only reflect positively on the club.

‘It’s a good sign that there are a number of internationals here. There are big strides forward. We are delighted with that and slightly more so when myself and my staff and what we do here have aided in that journey. With Tom and Keano, I think it’s fair to say the culture, the environment here, the staff, have added to their pathway in being recognised at international level. I think that’s fantastic. Others we’ve signed in, of course, but they’ve been here long enough to mature with the team and I think that’s a good thing for them and a good thing for us.’

Dyche went on to add.

‘Both have been fantastic in what they they’ve done for us and we’ll see what happens when they’re on international duty. As an individual, to be called up by your country is a fantastic thing and I think every player here who has had that happen has earned the right, so I’m really pleased for them.’

With the speculation that Gray was close to a first call up, the gaffer went on to say that if he continues improving as he has done since coming to the club, it is only a matter of time before his chance comes.

‘I think he is learning. I think he will improve from what we do here and the experience of being in the Premier League, so hopefully if he continues to do that his day will come.’

As for team news ahead of Sunderland, midfielder Steven Defour continues his return to full fitness as he got 70 minutes under his belt in Tuesday’s XI friendly against FC Edmonton.

We won the training ground game against the Canadian side two one, with goals from Dwight McNeil and Dan Agyei, and Defour was on the pitch alongside Ashley Westwood, Sam Vokes, Tendayi Darikwa, Kevin Long, James Tarkowski, Jon Flanagan and Nick Pope.

Speaking about Defour, Dyche said he would be ‘touch and go’ but Johann Berg Gundmundsson continued to be ruled out with his ligament issue.

‘It’s not settled down as quickly as we’d hoped. But he has seen a specialist and he’s not worried about it. You want strength in depth. We miss the fact they’re not in the training group, we miss the fact they’re not there, whether they’re starting or coming from the bench to add to the quality of the team, so that’s the bigger picture of it.’

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