Burnley boss Dyche reveals Johann Berg Gudmundsson close to return from injury
Johann Berg Gudmundsson could return to the Burnley squad against Everton on Boxing Day.
The winger has been absent since suffering a hamstring injury while on international duty with Iceland in October.
He played 90 minutes for the club’s Under-23 side on Saturday and has come through the match unscathed, after playing for an hour in a behind-closed-doors game last week.
Clarets boss Sean Dyche believes Gudmundsson can make a big impact in the second half of the season.
“I certainly would like to think he will get involved in the squad but whether he is in literally, he will certainly be with us,” said Dyche at his pre-match press conference on Monday.
“He has looked sharp in training and I spoke to him and he said he felt great. One of our staff went down to watch him and said he looked, good, fit and well.
“It’s another body coming back to full fitness. He’s someone who’s done very well, historically, and then he’s got to fight to get back into the group.”
Burnley will be Everton’s first opponents since the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti as the club’s new manager.
The 60-year-old Italian is one of the most decorated managers currently working, having won titles in England, Italy, France, Spain and Germany.
While Dyche respects Ancelotti’s achievements, he does wonder how much of an impact he will be able to make in such a short space of time ahead of facing his team.
“Three days is not enough to change things overall but you usually get a response from the players,” said the Burnley boss.
“Without a doubt he is certainly one of the biggest managers in the Premier League. Everton might be a different challenge.
“It would be interesting to know if there was a remit, what that is, but he must have gone in there with the thought that he can make it a very successful place.”
Dyche will be without the suspended Jeff Hendrick at Goodison Park after the midfielder received his fifth yellow card of the season during the win at Bournemouth. Aaron Lennon missed training on Monday due to illness but it is hoped he will be fit in time for Boxing Day.