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Sean Dyche: Nick Pope still needs time in recovery

By Phil Medlicott, | 18d
Pope returned to first-team action after being sidelined since dislocating his shoulder in July.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has stressed Nick Pope "still needs time" following the goalkeeper's comeback appearance in Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup third-round win over Barnsley.

The tie at Turf Moor saw Pope return to first-team action after being sidelined since dislocating his shoulder in July.

The 26-year-old was the Clarets' first-choice goalkeeper last season, subsequently made his England debut in early June, and was part of the Three Lions' squad at the World Cup in Russia.

After Pope sustained his injury, Burnley signed Joe Hart, who featured in their first 19 Premier League games this term before being demoted to the bench for the last two, with Tom Heaton playing instead.

Dyche, having named Hart on the bench again on Saturday as Heaton dropped out of the matchday squad, said of Pope's performance: "I'm really pleased. He had a quiet day but an efficient day.

"He came for crosses like he does, looked nice and steady.

"He told me he was absolutely clear, so that's why I played him. He has only had one under-23s game, but he said 'no, I'm absolutely clear.'"

When then asked how he would man-manage the situation of having Pope, Heaton and Hart all fit for next Saturday's home league clash with Fulham, Dyche said: "Well, Popey still needs time. He has come in, but he still needs time.

"I believe in players being absolutely spot on. Sharpness and stuff, he needs that. We are pleased in a way obviously that it was a quiet afternoon for him, having good hands, good voice and taking up the right positions.

"That's good stuff and important stuff, but he's not had that much work to do. So we need that, and piecing it together, and giving him a bit of time.

"So I don't class him as being right in there yet, but he is certainly on the way. And when it comes, that's my job. I can only pick 11, and I can only pick one keeper."

Dyche then said when asked if he could keep the three goalkeepers happy: "We'll see. We'll soon see. Simple as that."

He added: "They all know (the situation). These are grown men. They don't need me to say 'hey – guess what's happening here?'

"They all look at each other and go 'well, he's decent, I'm decent, he's decent, so crack on.'"

The winner on Saturday was a stoppage-time penalty converted by substitute Chris Wood.

Burnley – whose starting line-up showed eight changes – had earlier been awarded a penalty in the first half, but the decision was overturned via VAR.

In a somewhat comical scene, Matej Vydra was stopped during his run-up to take the spot-kick by referee Simon Hooper, who signalled the use of VAR, then that it was no penalty due to offside.

While League One promotion-chasers Barnsley did not register an effort on target, Cameron McGeehan's header just before the break was ruled out for offside, and Alex Mowatt went close with a free-kick in the 87th minute.

Tykes boss Daniel Stendel said with regard to Mowatt's strike: "I talked with the linesman (before the free-kick was taken) and said 'we (will) score'.

"I know he can score from this position.

"In this moment, a little bit more luck for our side and we win – and (then) the next time, we make a mistake and we lose the game. But that is football."



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1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711
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