Matthew Lowton is aiming to hold on to Burnley’s right-back shirt for the rest of the season.
The former first-choice full-back lost his place following a knee injury in November and has had to bide his time, with Phil Bardsley taking his chance in Lowton’s absence.
But Bardsley picked up a hamstring problem during the first half of last weekend’s draw with Manchester City, at last giving Lowton the opportunity to return.
He impressed immediately, setting up Johann Berg Gudmundsson for the late equaliser, and will keep the shirt with Bardsley ruled out for Saturday’s trip to Swansea.
Lowton said of his comeback: “It was very pleasing. Obviously every player wants to be on the pitch and giving their all for the team so when I got my chance I jumped at it, and it was nice to play well and get an assist and help us get a point in the end.
“It’s always frustrating when you’re not playing. When you pick up an injury it’s tough but it’s up to you to keep fit and make sure you’re ready fitness-wise and mentally when you get called upon and thankfully I did that.
“We’ve got a great depth in the squad, in every position we’ve got two and possibly three players that can play at any given time. It’s good to have, it keeps you on your toes, it makes sure everyone’s focused.
“Now it’s a chance for me to come back in and hopefully keep my shirt for the rest of the season.”
Sean Dyche acknowledges Lowton has been unfortunate to be sidelined for so long but believes his policy pays dividends.
“Matt was unlucky to come out of the side because he had done nothing wrong,” said the Burnley boss.
“He got injured and it’s that fine line about giving other players a chance. If it’s one game it’s unusual that you wouldn’t put the player back in but if it goes to two, three, four games then someone has earned the right to go in and do well.
“We want that challenge in-house, the fight for who’s going to get the shirt. Before the injuries, that gave us a real edge to add to performances because everyone is playing for the fact they want to be in the Premier League, but they know someone’s behind them ready to play if they’re not.”
Burnley sit in seventh place in the Premier League table after their flying start to the season but have gone 10 games without a win.
Lowton hopes the Clarets can end that run against Swansea, whose results have improved considerably under manager Carlos Carvalhal.
“They’ve picked up a lot recently, they’ve got a lot of good results,” he said. “They’re going in the right direction so it’s going to be a difficult game for us, but we know that and we’ve been to difficult places this season and got good points so we’re looking forward to it.”