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Sean Dyche jokes about buying balls, bibs and cones on limited Burnley budget

Sean Dyche jokes about buying balls, bibs and cones on limited Burnley budget
© Reuters
The Clarets boss finally made a significant first-team signing with the arrival of Brighton midfielder Dale Stephens on Thursday.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche joked that he has also been permitted to buy new balls, cones and bibs after making Dale Stephens his first major signing of the transfer window.

Dyche has expressed frustration at working on a limited budget and the Clarets' subsequent struggle to recruit reinforcements.

Experienced midfielder Stephens will provide some much-needed competition at Turf Moor following his arrival from Premier League rivals Brighton on Thursday.

Despite finally being able to spend some cash on a first-team player, Dyche does not expect a flood of new arrivals into his injury-hit squad and admits financial constraints remain a concern.

The 49-year-old offered a frank response followed by a tongue-in-cheek remark when asked if he is optimistic of further purchases now the club's cheque book has been opened.

"No, not really. There are a number of things we are considering but it still takes that magic cheque book to get them done, so I will just wait and see what happens," he said.

"We've got a bag of balls as well, so that was good, and some cones. And I think we've got some bibs coming next week."

Stephens' signing follows last month's purchase of third-choice goalkeeper Will Norris from Wolves during a quiet spell of transfer activity for the Lancashire club.

In addition to the lack of reinforcements, the Clarets' squad has been tested by a series of injury problems, with Jay Rodriguez added to the list of casualties after being forced off by an ankle problem in the midweek Carabao Cup win at Millwall.

Dyche would be "amazed" if forward Rodriguez is available for Saturday evening's home game against Southampton but expects to include 31-year-old Stephens in his squad.

"Well the good thing is, he (Stephens) has been active in pre-season. We tested him yesterday, and he tested well," said Dyche.

"We think he's got a good base fitness, so I would certainly consider that he could go into the side or in the squad definitely, so that's helpful.

"We are stretched. It is very unhelpful when we keep losing players, we lost Jay Rod and I am waiting on news for how long. I will be amazed if he's fit for Saturday."

Forward Rodriguez joins a treatment room already containing James Tarkowski, Robbie Brady, Ashley Barnes, Ben Mee, Jack Cork and Johann Berg Gudmundsson.

Defender Tarkowski, who has been sidelined by a toe problem but could be fit to return against Saints, has been heavily linked with a move to West Ham.

Dyche, though, is confident the centre-back will not be sold. He said: "I've not not been preparing to have him with us.

"Any other decision will be taken out of my hands if it goes up to a level that the chairman deems appropriate but I am not thinking that, I don't think it will do.

"I think he will be here, he's a very good player, and he'll get fit and he'll enjoy his time continuing to play for us, I'm sure."

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Dale Stephens pictured for Brighton in June 2020
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