Burnley manager Sean Dyche admits the Premier League has to take precedence over cup competitions.

The Clarets face fellow top-flight opposition in Sheffield United in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Thursday but that will not influence Dyche’s thinking.

His priority has always been to keep the club in the Premier League and, while Dyche would like a cup run, securing a sixth successive season among the elite is his main focus.

“I’ve made it clear all along, the Premier League remains the highest level of concern. We want to keep going in the Premier League,” he said.

“We have tried to take cup competitions seriously but we’ve not always delivered in the cup competitions.

“But I’ve never lost sight of the real challenge and that is continuing what we are doing in the Premier League.

“It’s a fact business-wise, the kudos of Burnley being in the Premier League is a bigger kudos and of course the finance involved.”

Part of Dyche’s problem is that he has a small squad to work with having lost senior players like Jeff Hendrick, Aaron Lennon and Joe Hart when their contracts expired in the summer and is still without the experienced trio of Ben Mee, Ashley Ward and Jack Cork who are working their way back from injury.

As a result he is likely to include a number of the club’s under-23s in his squad.

“We only have so many players for a start so my thinking is not maybe as open as other clubs,” he added.

“I think we’ve got a very good group here. Although it’s low in numbers, we’ve still got some very good players.

“We think they are motivated, we want them to go into this game motivated and any changes will still be designed to win the game.

“We have enough healthy respect for every team, especially in the Premier League, but no matter what the competition, we know we have to give a performance.”

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