Balance key for Dyche
Sean Dyche says he is happy to be patient with those Burnley players closing in on a return to the fold.
The Clarets are preparing to face Manchester City in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday and Dyche is likely to give some vital minutes to the likes of Nick Pope and Stephen Ward, while he has also hinted he will push Johann Berg Gudmundsson following a thigh injury.
However, others are set to sit out as the boss aims to preserve their legs with some big games in the Premier League to come.
Although a trip to Old Trafford rounds off January, the 16th place Clarets then have a run that could see them move away from danger zone as they face Southampton, Brighton and Newcastle during February.
Looking ahead to the weekend, Dyche admits it is key to get the balance right as he looks to both preserve his returning players, while simultaneously ensuring they have enough minutes in their legs.
"We have to be cautious because we have had so many bodies missing on and off this season so the thing is now when they are that close we can't risk it for fear of losing them for a longer period," said the Clarets chief.
"I hope it has worked by him (Gudmundsson) not playing and I hope it allows him a better period of recuperation for next week.
"Next week we will have to be quite greedy with the game and use it for our reasons, almost beyond the fact that is an important FA Cup game.
"The bigger picture for us is the Premier League and we have suffered with injuries and that might be an important game to get game time into them while still believing in a side that can go and win."
Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.