(Reuters) – Burnley manager Sean Dyche says it has been difficult to juggle European and domestic responsibilities as he remains without a number of first team players ahead of Thursday’s Europa League qualifier against Istanbul Basaksehir.
The Clarets powered past Aberdeen 4-2 on aggregate before playing out a goalless draw in Istanbul last week, which was backed up with another 0-0 draw at Southampton in Sunday’s Premier League opener.
“It makes it more difficult because of the timing, I think,” Dyche told a news conference on Thursday.
“If you’re up and running, and the players get into that rhythm of playing constant games, whether it’s Saturday-Tuesday in the Championship or Thursday-Sunday currently for us.
“It’s slightly different but the point is you start the end of pre-season almost before players are properly up and running, so therefore we’re just being a bit more careful that we normally would.”
Dyche was forced to make six changes in Istanbul from the previous round and will be without Robbie Brady, Steven Defour, goalkeepers Nick Pope and Tom Heaton, Anders Lindegaard and new signing Matej Vydra for the return leg at Turf Moor.
“Vyds is catching up. He hasn’t played a lot of football at Derby in the pre-season and hadn’t trained with the first team as much probably as you normally would,” Dyche added.
“But like anyone, we’ve got to make sure there is appropriate timing, not push too hard to make sure he gets fit and into the speed of things at a good enough pace.”
New goalkeeper Joe Hart is set to start his third straight match, while striker Chris Wood returns from an infected insect bite.
Following their European assignment, Burnley host Watford in the league on Sunday.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)