Team-Bonding in Portugal
Brian Laws is taking advantage of our break and is looking to get to know the players better after a hectic few weeks since becoming gaffer.
With Burnley out of the FA Cup we have no match this weekend when the fifth round ties are being played so the squad are taking in some team-bonding and training in sunny Portugal! (well sunnier than the UK anyway!)
'It will be an opportunity for the lads who haven`t figured much to show us what they can do, explained Laws.
"The warmer weather means we can do a couple of training sessions a day, which we haven`t been able to do back home, to help us to get ready for the game at Aston Villa."
He has taken virtually the whole of the first team squad over to Portugal. Only Joey Gudjonsson has remained in the UK with his wife expecting a baby soon.
Chris McCann-An Injury Update
Chris McCann has had a torrid season with injuries. He picked up a nasty cruciate and medial ligament injury in the Sunderland game at Turf Moor back in September last year. It had been thought he would be out for the season but he made a remarkable recovery and returned to the first team for the FA Cup match against Reading at the Madejski Stadium last month. In the next game against Bolton at the Reebok he hobbled off the pitch again but thankfully although it was a knee problem it was not a recurrence of the original serious injury.
McCann is scheduled to take part in a friendly the Clarets have arranged in Portugal today after coming through a double-training session and he aims to be ready for our next game against Aston Villa on Sunday 21st February.
'It will be good to have him back in contention," said Laws
Burnley X-Files-Williams and Camara
Our former loan from Middlesbrough, right-back Rhys Williams has been impressing the new gaffer at the Riverside, Gordon Strachan. So much so Williams has signed a new deal to the end of the 2012/13 season. Williams has actually been playing in midfield for Boro this season. Although he picked up a pelvic injury recently that kept him sidelined for a few weeks.
Williams joined the Clarets on loan in January 2009 and played a crucial role in our promotion challenge but was not allowed to feature in our play-offs matches returning to the Riverside in May last year.
It had been thought Coyle would sign the 21 year old Australian international last summer but nothing came of it. Right-backs, Tyrone Mears and Richard Eckersley were signed instead.
Another of our former defenders, Mo Camara also has a new club after signing for Torquay United until the end of the season. The defender, now 34 had recently been released by St Mirren after his contract was terminated so was able to sign as a 'free agent'.
Camara left Burnley at the end of the 2004-5 season and had spells with Celtic and Derby County (including loans at Norwich and Blackpool) before joining St Mirren as a free-agent after the January 2009 transfer window.