Burnley boss Sean Dyche will look to the transfer market to replace Chris Wood but insisted he was not angry with the New Zealand striker after his abrupt exit for relegation rivals Newcastle.
The Magpies exercised a release clause in Wood’s contract last week to snatch the 30-year-old away, boosting their own striking options while depriving Burnley of a player who scored 53 goals in 165 games for the Clarets.
“It wasn’t a perfect scenario to lose a player who’s done very well for us and for himself as well,” Dyche said.
“He’s a good player. He’s been quieter this season but you look at the record for us, you look at what he’s achieved as an individual.
“But it’s happened before, we’ve been down this road before with Andre Gray, Sam Vokes, Danny Ings, Charlie Austin. These are the challenges.
“I think we’ve got a strong group, that group mentality is going to be important going forward and there’ll be a possible view of the market as well, obviously.”
Dyche said conversations with the board over finance for moves was “constant”, but with an unexpected £25million landing in the coffers following Wood’s exit the options have certainly increased.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Dyche said. “We didn’t want to lose Woody, there’s no two ways about that, but on the other hand there’s a lot of comments that it’s a lot of money for that player etc.
“But money doesn’t solve everything. It gives you a better option in recruitment but you’ve still got to get the right players and January is still a tough window. These are the realities. It’s done now and we’ve got to move forward.”
Burnley have already been linked with Belgian duo Christian Benteke and Divock Origi, as well as French forward Serhou Guirassy, and Dyche said the summer signing of Maxwel Cornet was a sign that the club had broadened their horizons in the market under the ownership of Alan Pace.
“I think we’ve shown we’ve got a different kind of viewpoint with bringing Maxwel in and having maybe a more open-minded view than the previous board, and trying to stretch our thinking and apply ourselves to different ways of looking at the market,” he said. “I think we’re still doing that.”
Wood’s swift exit caught many at Burnley by surprise. The existence of his release clause, added when he signed a new contract in November 2019, was not widely known, and even then there had been little expectation of anyone using it.
It could prove a pivotal moment in the relegation fight but whatever frustrations there might be at Turf Moor, Dyche wished Wood well on his way out of the door.
“I’ve got no angle on Chris at all,” he said. “He’s a professional footballer who’s done very well for the football club. An opportunity arose, he’s thought it through and decided it’s right for him and that’s football.
“There’s absolutely no question marks in my mind over Chris at all for what he’s done here, the goals he’s scored, the way he’s performed, the way he’s conducted himself and the way he’s attempted to conduct himself here.”
In talking about his move, Wood himself had said he was in his comfort zone at Burnley and joined Newcastle for a new challenge.
“If he referenced his comfort zone I think it’s fair to say that it certainly wasn’t us allowing him to sit in his comfort zone,” Dyche said.
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