Date published: Friday 9th November 2018 11:36
Sean Dyche admits England defender James Tarkowski has been affected by an ongoing groin issue that could see him undergo surgery.
The 25-year-old withdrew from England’s stand-by squad ahead of the World Cup this summer to undergo hernia surgery but has been battling a similar problem all season.
Tarkowski pulled out of the last England squad but has continued to play for Burnley. He has failed to hit the heights he reached last season, with his mistake leading to West Ham’s opening goal in last weekend’s loss, and he saw a specialist on Thursday to decide whether to go under the knife.
Dyche said: “It’s so hard to measure from the outside. The hernia’s a strange one as everyone knows. You can kind of get away with it but it’s how long you get away with it for and how much trouble it causes you.
“He’s managed pretty well overall but I think it has affected him, which is why we’ve made a decision with him to see the specialist and go with what they decide.”
To compound matters, fellow defender Ben Gibson had hernia surgery in September and his return has been delayed after it was discovered he needed a second operation.
It has been a frustrating season injury-wise so far for Burnley, although midfielder Jack Cork – who missed his first league match for over a year last weekend with an ankle problem – and defender Phil Bardsley are fit for Saturday’s clash with Leicester.
“Rarely for us we haven’t quite got back to having that full complement of players,” said Dyche. “We were close and then it’s gone away again.”
Burnley go into what will be a highly emotional occasion as Leicester honour late owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha on a three-match losing run and having conceded 13 goals in the process.
Last season’s success was built on a miserly defence, with the Clarets conceding only 39 goals all season. They have already shipped 25 this campaign in 11 games, more than any other Premier League team except Fulham.
Five of the goals scored by Manchester City, Chelsea and West Ham over the last three weeks have come in the last 10 minutes, but Dyche said: “I think we’ve just conceded a lot of goals so whether they’re early or late is irrelevant.
“We know we’ve got to make sure we tighten up during the game in general. It’s not about timings it’s just about making sure we get back to that tight group tactically that prevents teams from having those opportunities.
“Historically we’ve responded well to the challenges that have been put in front of us. It’s probably the first time when we’ve had an indifferent period for a bit of a length of time.
“We’ve got to correct it because games are coming up and they’re games against teams that are more winnable.”
Dyche has tried to prepare his players for what he knows will be anything but a normal occasion as Leicester pay tribute to Srivaddhanaprabha in the first home match since he and four others were killed in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium.
“It does put into perspective the realities of what is a game of football but we still have a professional job to do,” said the Clarets boss. “We still want to play, we still want to win a game. Leicester will want to perform I’m sure.
“What I do know is they’re a good side and this may super-charge the atmosphere, it may dampen the atmosphere, we really don’t know until we get to the game.”