Burnley boss Howe looking for the perfect birthday present

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe

EDDIE Howe is looking for the ideal birthday present tomorrow night at home to Ipswich Town.

Howe turns 34, and the three points would be the perfect gift on the back of the dramatic win at Hull on Saturday: “Birthdays in this job just disappear.

“But I’ll be 34 so I suppose I look a little bit older so hopefully the ‘inexperience’ tag will hopefully go soon!

“I think, for us, to get our home form back on track is going to be so important. We want that to start against Ipswich.

“We don’t need to fear anybody in this league. Although there are some good sides in it, I think when we play to our capabilities we’re more than a match for anybody.

“We want to be on the front foot and take the game to Ipswich and I believe in our ability if we can do that.”

Burnley are still two points clear of Bristol City in 22nd, but only six adrift of sixth place, and Howe added: “It is very tight.

“It’s an important period for us now because we’re still close enough to make a charge up the table but also we’re aware there aren’t many points between us and the lower reaches.

“We’ve got really key games coming up and we want to push on.

“Back-to-back wins in this league can transform the feeling around the club.

“This is a massive game for us against Ipswich back on our own turf and we want to try to win it.”

Burnley will be without key figure Ross Wallace, who is suspended after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season in the win at Hull: “That’s a big blow for us because Ross was a player who really came into his own again late on on Saturday.

“I think he’s done really well this season. He’s a real goal threat and he’s added assists to his game as well.

“It’s a big blow to lose him but it will give someone else an opportunity and hopefully they’ll take it.”

Wallace will be available again at West Ham on Saturday, but his absence depletes the squad, with Howe unable to add extra bodies before the loan deadline on Thursday, saying: “We worked quite hard on a couple of players but it just didn’t happen.”

Burnley were also linked over the weekend with a £100,000 January move for 19-year-old Cliftonville striker Rory Donnelly, but Howe - who hopes to have Martin Paterson and Danny Ings available shortly, as well as Charlie Austin, poured cold water on the stories: “There’s nothing in it.”