Evening Express

Burnley boss insists flight delay into Aberdeen was ‘no problem’

Burnley manager Sean Dyche meets the press at Pittodrie today.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche insists their flight delay to the Granite City did not dent their preparations for the Europa League clash with Aberdeen.

The Premier League Clarets were set to jet out from Manchester at four o’clock yesterday morning but were delayed by three hours.

It had a knock-on effect of postponing Dyche’s scheduled Pittodire press conference at 5.45pm yesterday until 11am today.

That is outwith the UEFA rules for the Europa League where article 23.01 states the away team ‘will fulfil their media obligations the day before the match.’

Burnley could yet face a rap from UEFA.

Dyche said: “There was no problem atall.

“It sometimes happens. There was a technical problem and we were delayed a bit.

“We were flying out of Manchester and most of my players live in South West Manchester so they popped home for a couple of hours.

“So there was no big drama.

“We were going to fly about four o’clock and ended up flying about seven.”

Dyche and his squad were at Pittodrie this morning to look around the stadium and the pitch ahead of tonight’s second qualifying round first leg tie which is a sell-out.

The Clarets gaffer had scouts at the Dons’ 1-1 draw with Championship West Brom on Friday.

Dyche is anticipating a tough match.

He said: “We had people at the game against West Brom and Aberdeen look to be strong, fit and organised as a minimum.

“Then they look to play on top of that as well.

“Similar to ourselves and our job is to cope with that and deliver our performance.

“If you get that right then you have a better chance of taking care of business.”

Burnley striker Chris Wood, a £15million signing last summer, has been struggling with a hip injury but is likely to be fit for tonight’s clash.

Keeper and captain Tom Heaton is ruled out with a calf injury sustained in this week’s 3-2 pre-season friendly win at Preston North End.

Belgian international midfielder Steven Defour is also ruled out.

Dyche said: “The only ones who are sure of not starting are Tommy (Heaton) who has a niggly calf injury, nothing major but he had to come off at Preston.

“Ashley Barnes is not here.

“Robbie (Brady) is with us but won’t be involved as he is still in his progression back from a long term injury.

“Steven Defour is still progressing from a long term injury but the rest are doing well.”