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Steve Bruce will be in charge of a team at Burnley for the first time since his Hull City team were beaten 1-0 at the Turf in February 2016. He’s since managed Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and now his boyhood team Newcastle United.

He brings his team on the back of successive wins but has warned his players them might not be making the trip here at the best of times. He said: “It’s probably the worst time to go there. Knowing Sean the way  do, he’ll not be happy with his last couple of results in particular.

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“What you see us what you get with Sean. He’s a top lad and I’m delighted that he’s done so well because there’s another one who’s had to work his way to the top, not afraid of hard work at all, and what he’s done at Burnley in particular is quite magnificent.”

He’s very pleased with the way his team are playing and the style of play they’ve adopted. He added: “I’m very, very comfortable in what we’ve done because I think the players are comfortable and I think that’s the most important thing.

Sean Dyche is still counting the wounded as he hopes to be able to bring some of them back into the reckoning but last Saturday’s game at Spurs has now, in Dyche speak, been parked. “We’ve debriefed it and we live and learn and overall we are not a million miles away from where we should be,” he said.

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“We have a lot better points tally (compared to a year ago) and we’re unlucky not to have a few more. There is a two-league scenario and there’s a section of teams in and around us. That starts this weekend and we’re looking for a performance, first and foremost.”

On the subject of the injuries and the potential for players to return, he said. “We have to be careful because we have a lot of games coming and it’s that risk and reward scenario. With the spate of injuries we’ve just had, we can’t afford people going down with long term injuries, so therefore it will be touch and go with some of the decisions we make.

“That’s the balance. Some are obvious because you watch them in training and you get good feedback from the player and from the physios that they are clear. Sometimes that only happens later in the week though, like this week. Then you are thinking what you can gain, or whether they go down again and, if they do, how long will that take.

“The think about the human body is you can never quite guarantee it. If they train all week ahead of a game, it’s fair to say you trust that evidence. if they only train on Friday, that may come down to my decision, weighing up the games we have to come.”

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