Burnley boss Sean Dyche willing to turn to Paul Robinson again if he needs to
Burnley boss Sean Dyche will have no qualms if he needs to turn to 37-year-old goalkeeper Paul Robinson again with Tom Heaton still struggling with his calf problem.
The Clarets, winless on their travels since returning to the Premier League, go to Stoke's bet365 Stadium, which was the site of their maiden away victory in their top-flight campaign two years ago.
They may be without England stopper Heaton once more, though, as he is unlikely to overcome the issue which forced Robinson into action last weekend against Manchester City when the veteran made his first top-flight appearance in four years.
Robinson won praise from Dyche for his performance in the 2-1 defeat and has shown his manager enough to ensure Heaton will not be hurried back into action should his condition remain the same in the 48 hours before the game.
"Tom - he's touch and go, we will give him another 24 hours then make a decision," Dyche said.
"It's just the nature of it. It's down to the end of the injury. Then it's a judgement call about whether you want to risk that or not. Robbo certainly delivered a good performance, ably assisted by Nick Pope.
"I'm not going to make a drastic decision on it or one where I think it's going to put him at risk. On the other hand, if he says, 'I'm absolutely clear' that will be a different conversation."
Former Blackburn keeper Robinson joined Burnley on a short-term deal last January but was unused as Dyche's stride strode towards the Championship title with Heaton between the sticks.
However, Dyche resigned him over the summer despite also landing 24-year-old Pope from Charlton and credited Robinson for maintaining a fitness level which allowed him to step in when Heaton sustained his injury.
"He's in great shape, he really is," the Clarets boss added of Robinson.
"I think he's in great shape for what he does as a professional. All credit to him for his mentality towards it.
"I spoke to him in private and you could see he'd got the bug back, you could see it in his eyes, the way he was talking about it. He came in last year and did great for us and has done ever since.
"It's partly evolved into what he can rub off onto the other keepers. His standards are very high from the career he's had. He knows some of the not-so-good things that don't work so he can share that when he needs to."
The presence of another veteran at Burnley's Barnfield Training Centre continues to elicit intrigue.
Dyche last week confirmed that free agent Joey Barton, who helped the Clarets to promotion before his ill-fated spell at Rangers, was building up his fitness at the Clarets, with the manager refusing to rule out re-signing him somewhere down the line.
Yet, one week on, there was no new update from Dyche.
"He's still with our sports scientists, still keeping himself trim," he said. "He's just keeping himself trim, enjoying what he's doing, getting himself fit."
Heaton is not the only injury concern for the Stoke clash after Dean Marney (back) and Johann Berg Gudmundsson (hamstring) were both forced off against City.
The Icelandic winger has definitely been ruled out, though Dyche said Marney had a "strong chance" of featuring.