Sean Dyche believes Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Robbie Brady will get back to their Burnley best after an injury hit year - and their return could help Dwight McNeil flourish further.

Brady and Gudmundsson have struggled to stay fit over the past 18 months or so and the former is out of the weekend Premier League trip to Manchester City after tweaking a hamstring against Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Gudmundsson came through an hour of that game and is set to retain his place at the Etihad with the Iceland winger still searching for what Dyche calls 'true' fitness and an extended run in the side after a series of injury issues.

The 30-year-old has only played 90 minutes in a Premier League game once since March 2019 - on the opening day of last term when he scored against Southampton - and has not completed back to back matches since January 2019.

He has suffered with thigh and groin problems during that time and the Clarets will be hoping he has now turned a corner ahead of a busy period of fixtures.

Brady, like Gudmundsson out of contract in the summer, has more appearances for his country than club this season and has completed 90 minutes once since December 2018 - in the draw at Brighton in Burnley's last away game.

He is now set for another spell on the sidelines, although the injury is not serious, and Dyche feels both are being inhibited by past problems as they work through their fitness.

"I think we have had a funny years with game schedules and pre-season and it is difficult for players sometimes," said the Turf boss.

"I you get that spell of niggly injuries it can be hard to get out there and get that run of training performances and first team performances.

Robbie Brady was forced off with a hamstring injury during Burnley's Premier League win over Crystal Palace

"You need a period where your body just goes back in sync and your muscle memory comes back and you just seem to be flowing again and moving around as you normally would.

"When you have been injured you can just sometimes move out of kilter from your norm and that can cause another injury. We try and prevent that but it is a tricky thing.

"We have such a skinny squad that we have to get them right and more or less back into action pretty quickly even when I do hold back on certain players who I think are not ready but they can't be not ready forever. We have a time when we think we have to use them.

They are making progress towards true fitness and we want them to get that.

"Eventually we want to get them to a point where they go out in training and don't think about anything.

"You just go out and train and that is when you are really injury free."

He added: "You need that moment to occur where you literally go out and run around and play football.

"It seems simple but some of these injuries can play with your brain a little bit and get a bit confusing and then you're not sure if you will be able to attack the game 100 per cent or play a little bit guarded.

"Himself (JBG) and Robbie are trying to get there and working hard to get there and it will come.

There just comes a day and you can almost sense it on them. They run around with the freedom you do when you're literally fully fit rather than just having a few niggly ones."

The Clarets are hoping that day will be just around the corner for Gudmundsson after he came through his outing against Palace.

The 30-year-old is the only natural right winger in Burnley's squad and his appearance on the team sheet provides more balance to the side and creates a twin attacking threat with Dwight McNeil on the left.

The youngster is often looked to as the man to create for the Clarets but has on occasion been stifled by opponents who know if they can keep the 21-year-old quiet they can often cut off Burnley's supply line.

Dyche is keen to play with two natural wingers, although he utilised Jeff Hendrick in that role during his Turf career, and Josh Brownhill has filled in more recently.

And he feels that when fully fit Gudmundsson, McNeil and Brady offer good options.

"Johann is what you would argue a modern day winger in the sense that he cuts inside and plays inside football rather than outside football as you would imagine the old wingers when they drive down the outside," said Dyche.

"Dwight is slight different, he does either. He can come inside into the pocket or he can go outside.

"I think when they are both fully fit there is a nice balance but there was with Robbie.

"People sometimes forget that before Robbie hurt his knee at Leicester he was absolutely flying.

"Sometimes you forget that these guys have had different periods.

"When Johann gets fully Premier League fit which comes with time and games, he is getting closer and closer, then I think there is a good balance there.

"When Robbie is on it which he has been showing signs of getting back to where I think he can be then we've got a real conundrum."