Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan has said the club will look to the January transfer market for reinforcements in their fight against relegation as injuries and illness stretch their squad to the limit.
The Clarets were dumped out of the FA Cup by Huddersfield on Saturday as the Championship side came from behind to win 2-1 at Turf Moor.
It was the latest setback in a miserable campaign so far – Burnley have won only one league game all season and have been stuck in the bottom three since mid-September.
Burnley fielded a strong side to face Huddersfield but had a bench largely made up of youngsters, and Woan revealed the extent to which preparations had been hampered by a Covid-19 outbreak which forced manager Sean Dyche, six players and several other members of staff into isolation.
Chris Wood came off with an injury concern at half-time, adding to a lengthy wait for the treatment room, and with Maxwel Cornet away at the Africa Cup of Nations, Woan said the squad was “at its very limit”.
“There are no excuses,” Woan said. “We wanted to get the game on. I’m sure we could have got the game off, but that is not the way we work.
“There has been a lot of disruption this week, but the starting 11 was strong enough to win the game.
“It’s a no-excuse environment, but we are super stretched this week, the manager, the coach, six players with Covid, two or three with injuries, Cornet away, so you’re at your very limit.
“We have to keep believing in what we do and hopefully get some bodies back for the next couple of weeks.”
Woan said Wood had been brought off as a precaution, but with Matej Vydra among the Covid cases at the club, Ashley Barnes injured and Cornet away, any injury to the New Zealander would leave Jay Rodriguez as the only fit senior striker.
Burnley reportedly had an approach for Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey turned down during the week, but Woan said they were working hard to bring in fresh faces.
“I think every coach and manager, if you ask the question, ‘Would you like to add to the squad in January?’ they would say yes,” he said.
“We are no different, our recruitment team and ownership are working hard to do that.
“Obviously we want to strengthen.”
Burnley have vital home games coming up – they face Leicester on Saturday before Watford, currently two points above them in 17th place, visit Turf Moor in a rearranged fixture next Tuesday.
But with the outbreak ongoing, Woan admitted he did not know how many players might be in training later this week to prepare for those matches.
“It’s not going to be until later on this week when we find out if we’re getting bodies back,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep working and keep believing. We’ve been in this position before.”
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