Belfast Telegraph

Dyche hoping to extend Keane stay

Burnley boss Sean Dyche is working to try to keep Michael Keane at the club with his defensive resources stretched to the limit.

Keane's loan from Manchester United is due to run out at the weekend but he is currently the only fit centre-half Dyche has at his disposal.

Dyche will continue discussions with United with the aim either of extending Keane's loan for the rest of the season or signing him on a permanent basis.

"We're looking at that situation," said the Burnley boss. "That's been ongoing ever since he's been here. It's a discussion we'll have with him and United."

Keane was not in the side at the start of the season but has become an important figure with first Michael Duff and then captain Jason Shackell picking up calf injuries.

To make matters worse, Kevin Long, who replaced Shackell at Newcastle last week, ruptured his cruciate ligament after 20 minutes of Premier League action and will miss the rest of the season.

Dyche is hopeful he will have two central defenders to call on when Burnley play fellow strugglers QPR on Saturday, with full-back Ben Mee deputising alongside Keane in their 1-1 FA Cup draw against Tottenham on Monday night.

"We're confident, certainly with Shackell, but there's no guarantees with that," said Dyche.

"I thought Ben Mee was excellent again, and (Daniel) Lafferty's come in from nowhere and it's a tough game to walk into when you're playing Tottenham. Overall he hung in there and did okay.

"One of the marvellous things about the group is they look round at each other - no disappointments, no excuses, we're ready to play."

Dyche is working on adding to his squad during the January window, and said: "There's a couple of situations we're working on.

"It depends if they can become available at the right price and whether they and their clubs want to do it. We've had plenty at that stage that haven't got through so we'll wait and see."

The highlight of a third-round tie played in front of fewer than 10,000 people at Turf Moor was Sam Vokes' first goal since he ruptured his cruciate ligament in March.

The striker made only his second substitute appearance and converted Michael Kightly's cross in the 73rd minute to cancel out Nacer Chadli's opener and force a replay at White Hart Lane next Wednesday.

Dyche said: "When someone's waited that amount of time to come back from a very serious injury, to come on and deliver a performance and get a goal. I thought he looked sharp in general, his movement was good for the goal and we're absolutely delighted to see him back."

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