Heaton ponders Clarets future

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has admitted that he may have to seek a move away from Turf Moor in January in a bid to secure regular first-team football.

The 32-year-old England international suffered a serious shoulder injury which saw him miss a majority of last season, with Nick Pope stepping in for the Clarets and impressing enough to earn a place in the Three Lions squad for the World Cup 2018 finals.

In the summer, Burnley boss Sean Dyche recruited Joe Hart after Pope himself was struck down by a shoulder problem, leaving the fit-again Heaton to battle for a first-team spot with the new recruit.

And it has been former England number one Hart who has won the nod for all eight Premier League games to date, leaving Heaton frustrated and pondering his options for the future.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "Joe was thrown in against Istanbul Basaksehir in the Europa League. The manager then kept him in for the weekend for the first Premier League game of the season at Southampton, which was frustrating for me.

"I can't lie, that was tough. Obviously, I knew Joe well and have great respect for him, but, to be perfectly honest, I was expecting to play.

"It doesn't need a rocket scientist to see that it's going to be difficult to fit us all in.

"Come the January transfer window, I've got to keep my options open. The one thing I've been consistent about in my career is moving clubs in order to play games."

Burnley are currently in 12th place in the Premier League standings, having secured seven points from their last three games.

They are priced at 8/1 to finish in the top half of the table this season and are 1/12 to finish in the bottom half.

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Wins change Burnley perspective

Sean Dyche suggests two wins in a week have changed the perspective on Burnley after they overcame Cardiff 2-1 on Sunday.

Sam Vokes scored the winning goal in the second half for the Clarets as Cardiff saw their winless start to the season extended despite the Bluebirds having played well at home.

Vokes stooped to head home a Johann Berg Gudmundsson cross with 20 minutes remaining to move Burnley up into 12th place as they backed up last weekend's 4-0 home win over Bournemouth.

Gudmundsson had headed Burnley in front with his side's first effort on target six minutes after half-time.

Cardiff responded when summer signing Josh Murphy scored his first Premier League goal on the hour but the defeat leaves Neil Warnock's men above only Huddersfield in the Premier League table.

Joe Hart, impressive against Bournemouth last time out, made some excellent saves before Burnley went in front and manager Dyche feels back-to-back wins have quickly changed the outlook for his team.

"A week ago there were a few stories knocking around. Now we've won two in a row – one at home, one away – and the stories change," said the Burnley boss.

"There are a lot of things to be pleased with, particularly the three points. It was a mixed bag and in the first half Cardiff did so well, we couldn't get a foothold into the game.

"Over a season you won't dominate every week, you have to show a willingness to fight, a desire to win. There are no easy games against Neil Warnock sides and we knew that would be the case. Winning home and away changes the mentality…belief comes back into the group."

Burnley are 11/10 to make it three wins on trot when they host bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield on Saturday, while Cardiff are 14/1 put their first win on the board away to Tottenham.

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Dyche plays down poor record

Sean Dyche is unconcerned by Burnley's poor record at Cardiff City and is confident his side can beat Neil Warnock's team on Sunday.

The Clarets have not won any of their last 11 games in Cardiff, with their last success coming 18 years ago when Steve Davis and Andy Payton scored in a 2-1 triumph.

Burnley have only won twice in 20 matches at Cardiff but they are 2/1 to improve that dismal record by beating the Bluebirds this weekend.

Cardiff have failed to win any of their six Premier League games so far this season though while Dyche's side only recorded their first top-flight victory of the campaign when they beat Bournemouth 4-0 at Turf Moor last weekend.

Dyche said: "When I got here this club had about seven clubs that we'd had a bad run at. Every club we seemed to play at was like that.

"That seems normal in these parts. I don't think the story is that relevant. I don't know how the club had all these bad runs. Ipswich, Cardiff, Bristol City, Blackburn, Wolves, how many do you want?

"If the team perform probably you've got an increased chance to win, that makes mythical situations outside of my timeline irrelevant."

Burnley are 7/1 to win 1-0 in South Wales and 7/4 to be relegated this season.

Peltier set for lengthy lay-off

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock fears that, although Lee Peltier does not need an operation, he may be sidelined until the end of December.

The right-back suffered a shoulder injury during last weekend's 5-0 home defeat to Manchester City and had to leave the pitch on a stretcher.

Warnock said: "Lee Peltier does not have to have an operation which is the good news but it is still going to be between two and three months.

"Obviously it came out of the joint and they managed to put it back in without operating and the surgeon thinks he doesn't need a plate and he's got more of a chance of healing naturally."

Peltier will miss this weekend's match against Burnley as the Bluebirds aim to win their first game of the season. Cardiff are 13/8 to win the match.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Aron Gunnarsson are also set to miss Sunday's game against the Clarets, who recorded their first top-flight win of the season by beating Bournemouth 4-0 last Saturday.

Warnock is looking forward to the game, adding: "The fixture list hasn't been too kind to us; in the first 10 games we're playing nearly all of the top seven from last year. It is a little bit cruel, but we've got to hang in there.

"I always believe, apart from the top six, everything is winnable in this league – and Burnley are in that category.

"We know that Sean [Dyche] has got a really good work ethic, but we have to be ready for what's coming, and hopefully we can cause them problems."

Cardiff are 2/7 to be relegated this season while Burnley are 7/4 to go down.

Dyche hints at Defour return

Sean Dyche has indicated that Steven Defour could return to action after an eight-month lay-off when Burnley take on Burton Albion in the EFL Cup.

The Belgian midfielder has been sidelined since January, initially with a knee problem that required surgery. It had been hoped that he would to return to action at the start of the 2018/19 campaign but he then suffered a calf problem in pre-season.

Defour played for the Clarets' Under-23 side a week ago and looks set to be included in the squad to face the Brewers in the third round of the EFL Cup.

"Steven is absolutely chomping at the bit," said Dyche, who is on a high after his side recoded their first Premier League victory of the campaign on Saturday when they beat Bournemouth 4-0 at Turf Moor.

"He is very clear and very focused on where he's at and that's a good sign and a good thing to see. He's a very experienced player as well, so he knows his own body and he's feeling very good at the minute.

"We're certainly considering what his involvement will possibly be."

Burton, who are managed by Nigel Clough, were relegated from the Championship last term and have knocked out Shrewsbury Town and Aston Villa to reach this stage of the competition.

"After Saturday you want to continue that, no matter who plays. They're all part of that winning mentality and that winning feeling and they will want to do that as well," added Dyche.

Burnley can be backed at 1/2 to qualify for the fourth round of the EFL Cup and at 50/1 to win the competition outright.

Howe waits on injured duo

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has revealed that Charlie Daniels and Kyle Taylor could miss the Cherries' visit to Burnley.

Daniels missed last Saturday's impressive 4-2 victory against Leicester City while Taylor is struggling with a calf injury.

However, there is some good news for Howe, who managed Burnley before returning to Bournemouth for a second stint as boss in 2012, as Junior Stanislas could be in the squad again for the first time in six months.

"We've still got a couple of doubts," confirmed Howe. "Charlie Daniels is still a doubt and Kyle Taylor looks like he's picked up a calf problem. Apart from that, we're pretty good.

"I'm really pleased for Junior. He's had a long time out of action, but it didn't look like that when he played earlier this week.

"He did well, was really good with the ball and contributed to an excellent performance. It was really good to see and you'll have to wait and see if he features on Saturday."

Bournemouth, 6/4 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table, can be backed at 6/4 to beat the winless Clarets at Turf Moor. Sean Dyche's side are available at 11/10 to be relegated this season.

Brady’s progress thrills Dyche

Sean Dyche is pleased that Burnley winger Robbie Brady is close to a first-team return as he battles back from a serious knee injury.

The Republic of Ireland international sustained the problem against Leicester City nine months ago but returned to action alongside Steven Defour on Thursday afternoon in an in-house game.

It is a big boost for the Clarets who are currently bottom of the Premier League table after failing to win any of their first five matches of the campaign.

They have also been knocked out of the Europa League and are 11/10 to be relegated from the top-flight this season after finishing seventh in 2017/18.

Dyche said of Belgium international Defour and Brady: "Steven is going well. He is getting stronger and, although he won't be involved with the first team yet, he is closer and we had a little in-house game today for him and Robbie.

"Steven has been going along nicely in full training for a couple of weeks with the first team. Robbie is not far behind and we are looking forward to having them both back."

Ben Gibson had minor surgery on a hernia problem on Thursday and is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.

Dyche remains upbeat though, adding: "I thought and expected us to do better, but I can assure you records don't bother me because if you look at all the positive records we've achieved in the last five years, I think you'll find that outweighs the negatives.

"We definitely have to work hard to get back to that as a minimum, and then once we do that you are looking at the consistency to go and win games."

Burnley are 19/10 to beat Bournemouth at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Misfiring Clarets concern Dyche

Sean Dyche admits there is "a bit of a fog around us at the moment" after watching his winless Burnley side lose 1-0 at Wolves.

Raul Jimenez scored the only goal of the game as the Clarets slumped to their fourth defeat in five Premier League matches so far this season.

They are now at the foot of the Premier League table and, after finishing seventh last season and qualifying for the Europa League, are 11/10 to be relegated this term.

"We've got a bit of a fog around us at the moment, brought on by many different things," Dyche said after the Molineux setback.

"We've been through it before though and we've got to come through it again.

"I thought they [Wolves] were the better side overall, definitely on the creative side of the game.

"The positive for us was we looked much more like us defensively, in the sense of blocks – the keeper played great, but in front of that, blocks, energy to block, willingness and desire.

"But that's the only thing I can pick out. Offensively we gave the ball away so many times in so many cheap positions and you can't do that."

Burnley can be backed at 9/5 to record their first victory of the campaign when they play Bournemouth on Saturday and at 9/1 to beat the Cherries 1-0 at Turf Moor.

Jimenez banks Wolves win

Raul Jimenez scored the only goal as Wolves claimed a deserved victory over Burnley at Molineux to continue their strong start to the campaign.

The home side dominated possession and controlled the game against a well-organised Clarets side, but they had to wait the hour-mark for Jimenez to make the crucial breakthrough.

Burnley rarely threatened, with the only real chances they created falling to Johann Berg Gudmundsson late on.

The Clarets have now lost four successive Premier League game for the first time. Wolves meanwhile climbed into the top half of the table with their win.

The key moment was orchestrated down the Wolves right, with Matt Doherty toe-poking a cross into the path of Jimenez, who was able to divert the ball beyond Joe Hart's dive.

Nuno Espirito Santo has demanded his players "maintain the standards" set in their 1-0 victory over West Ham prior to the international break, and he was not disappointed.

"I am very, very satisfied. We played good football and stayed organised and created chances. Burnley are a good side and stayed in it until the end," said the Molineux boss.

"If there is a 'but', we could be more clinical. But if we can continue to make these many chances, it makes me very proud."

Wolves are 11/2 to win their next game, away at Manchester United. The Red Devils are 8/15 while the draw is 3/1 at Old Trafford.

For Burnley boss Dyche, his side didn't reach the required standard.

"We knew they were a good side. They invested well in the summer. We knew we'd have to defend resolute. We got some nice blocks in and looked more like ourselves defensively," he said.

"Attacking-wise there was nowhere near enough."

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Nuno setting high standards

Nuno Espirito Santo has challenged his Wolves players to maintain the standards they have set in the opening few games of the new Premier League season.

The newly-promoted outfit have earned five points from their opening four games, with their only defeat coming at the hands of Leicester City just under a month ago.

And, while Nuno is pleased with how his squad have reacted to the step up in class from The Championship, he is also aware that even better performances will be needed in the coming months.

He told reporters: "We achieved the first clean sheet against West Ham. That must be the first step, a clean sheet – you're always closer to winning a game if you have a clean sheet.

"We, as a team, have a lot of things to improve – we have to be more clinical. We can think about our talents, style, the way we achieve and create chances is good, now but let's make it better.

"The most important thing is that we established standards in the last game and we have to maintain those standards.

"Winning is always good and makes things a lot easier when you are trying to establish an identity like we are, but we have to do it again."

Wolves welcome Burnley to Molineux on Sunday, with the visitors having struggled for form so far this season and taken just one point from four games.

The Midlanders are 3/4 to secure all three points on Sunday and are 12/5 to win the game by a one-goal margin, with Wolves 1/1 to keep a clean sheet.

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