Cracks are starting to show in Sean Dyche's Burnley squad

Cracks are starting to show in the house that Sean Dyche built… injuries to Burnley’s top players are exposing a lack of ambition in the transfer market

  • Injures are now putting a different slant on Burnley’s cautious transfer policy
  • James Tarkowski, a major asset, hasn’t played this season amid speculation
  • Burnley have only made one major signing in the summer transfer window 

Burnley’s well-deserved reputation as a bedrock of stability is showing a few signs of wear and tear.

Sean Dyche won’t have enjoyed his 400th game as a manager — Clarets old boy Danny Ings scored an early winner off his shin — and wants new recruits before he celebrates his eighth anniversary at Turf Moor next month.

Burnley have always coped despite being cautious in the transfer market. However, injuries to Jay Rodriguez, Ashley Barnes, Ben Mee, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Robbie Brady, Jack Cork and James Tarkowski put a different slant on things.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche was without a number of key players against Southampton

‘I try to manage the model we have,’ said Dyche, doing his best to stay measured despite frustration. ‘It’s worked well for us over a period of time, it’s just exacerbated by the injuries. They have really stretched us and now it looks a harder situation because we haven’t brought players in.’

Then there is the Tarkowski affair. The England defender is Burnley’s major asset but hasn’t played this season amid strong interest from Leicester and West Ham. Officially, he’s on the crocked list but Dyche, a hard-man centre half back in the day, didn’t sound convinced.

‘He’s got a sore toe. He said to me it’s not serious but it’s sore. That’s the way that one is.’

James Tarkowski is Burnley’s major asset but hasn’t played this season amid transfer rumours

In the circumstances, debutant Dale Stephens, Burnley’s only major summer signing, resembled a one-man cavalry. He signed on Thursday and was thrown in 48 hours later.

‘I only trained once in the team,’ said the recruit from Brighton. ‘We have injuries but there are no excuses. We will look to build on what we did in the second half.’

Chris Wood appealed for a penalty and was later flagged offside before he put the ball in the net as Burnley started the season with two defeats.

Danny Ings (right) celebrates scoring Southampton’s winning goal with team-mate Che Adams

Southampton’s relief at their first points was evident from manager Ralph Hasenhuttl punching the air at full time.

Midfielder Oriol Romeu typified their improvement from the 5-2 home defeat by Tottenham.

‘We saw two different players from last week and this week ‘ said the Saints boss of Romeu. ‘He was a disaster against Spurs. This time he really was the boss of the midfield. He always made the right decisions and showed how calm he is in possession. A fantastic performance.’ 

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