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Sean Dyche challenges Burnley squad to step up in Robbie Brady's absence


Burnley's Robbie Brady has suffered a serious knee injury

Burnley's Robbie Brady has suffered a serious knee injury

Burnley's Robbie Brady has suffered a serious knee injury

Sean Dyche has challenged his Burnley squad to find the silver lining in Robbie Brady's season-wrecking injury.

The Republic of Ireland international suffered a torn patella tendon in a collision with Leicester's Harry Maguire and, though the Clarets have not confirmed his campaign is over, a six-month layoff is expected.

That is frustrating news for player and club, with Brady a key creative outlet and dead-ball specialist in Burnley's rise to seventh in the Premier League table, but Dyche wants others to step forward in his absence.

Scott Arfield is the most obvious stand-in on the left flank, with full-back Charlie Taylor representing a wildcard option, and a tactical switch is also possible should Dyche wish to accommodate an extra attacker.

"It opens up a gap, it opens up an opportunity, and we've got a demanding group now," said Dyche.

"I've mentioned many times my belief in the whole group and here's another chance for it to shine.

"T hat was the aim at the start of the season, as well as getting results of course - can we make the group stronger? Build the inner demand between ourselves?

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"I'm fully expecting whoever we play to keep playing their part and add to what we're doing."

Brady, meanwhile, has already gone under the knife, with Dyche reporting the operation as a success.

"The surgeon, who has done most of our players, was very happy with the work done," he said.

"I spoke to (Brady) briefly and he understands, he's been talked through the plan of attack from now until when he's fit.

"It always amazes me the way they get lads through these operations and before you know it they're wandering around the training ground."

Jeff Hendrick knows Brady better than most, as a team-mate with club and country, and believes his fellow Dubliner will be a loss in terms of both ability and personality.

"It's definitely going to be a blow," he admitted. "You can see, especially in his last few performances, the confidence and the way he was playing.

"He was getting on the ball, he scored a lovely goal against Bournemouth, and he was setting up chances. We're all gutted for him, and we hope he gets better.

"He's got his one-liners too, he's got good stories and he sits beside me in the changing room. We have a laugh, so he's definitely going to be a miss.

"It is sad news but we'll still have him around and he lives beside me so I can get him to tell me a few jokes back home.

"He is strong mentally so I'm sure he will be okay."

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