Mixed news for Clarets

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Published: Tuesday 6th January 2015 by The News Editor

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Burnley boss Sean Dyche celebrated Sam Vokes’ first goal in more than nine months but reported news of another serious injury to one of his players.

Vokes was making only his second substitute appearance since rupturing his cruciate ligament in March and scored the equaliser as the Clarets held Tottenham to a 1-1 draw in the third round of the FA Cup.

But Dyche will now be without defender Kevin Long for the rest of the season after it was confirmed he suffered the same injury in Burnley’s 3-3 draw with Newcastle last Thursday.

The defender made his first Premier League appearance when he replaced Jason Shackell early on but did not even make it to half-time before landing awkwardly and being carried off.

Long and the club’s worst fears have been realised, and Dyche said: “We didn’t think it was a good incident when we saw it.

“It’s positive for Longy that he’s got somebody who’s just been through it, someone to talk him through it and he knows he’s got a support system in place that will get him through it.

“But obviously it is a blow to him. He got 20 minutes of Premier League football. It’s what football sometimes throws at you.”

The highlight of a low-key game played in front of fewer than 10,000 people was certainly Vokes’ goal, which cancelled out Nacer Chadli’s 56th-minute opener.

The striker was one of Burnley’s key players in their promotion from the Championship and his return to goalscoring form bodes well for the Clarets’ Premier League campaign.

Dyche said: “When someone’s waited that amount of time to come back from a very serious injury, to come on and deliver a performance and get a goal. I thought he looked sharp in general, his movement was good for the goal and we’re absolutely delighted to see him back.

“He went down ill last week, missed three days with a virus, and if it wasn’t for that I might even have got him on the pitch from the start. It’s very important we look after his recovery.”

Neither goalkeeper was tested at all in the first half but the game livened up a little in the second half.

Tottenham appeared to be in control after Chadli’s goal but paid the price for not scoring a second and were unable to convert a couple of chances in stoppage-time.

Dyche, whose only two changes to his starting line-up were forced by injury, said: “I thought it was generally a lacklustre affair, particularly first half. Nothing much to talk about.

“It sprang into life slightly with them getting a goal. A little bit fortunate, it takes two deflections on the way in, and after that we responded and I thought we were quite lively for the last 20 minutes, certainly with the endeavour to try to win the game.

“That was everything we had in the building, that’s where we’re down to. They made seven changes with £130million worth of talent on the pitch. In that respect, I’m very pleased.”

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was left frustrated that his side, who are still involved in the Capital One Cup and Europa League, now face a replay next Wednesday.

He said: “I’m disappointed with the result and that we need to play another game, because we have a lot of games ahead.

“The first half was poor from both teams but in the second half we were better and we let them come back into the game. It’s for that I’m a little bit disappointed.

“We are still in the FA Cup and in all competitions but we need to make another effort to get through to the next round.”

Published: Tuesday 6th January 2015 by The News Editor

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