GOAL hero Martin Paterson sunk old boss Owen Coyle – and believes current Clarets chief Eddie Howe is carving out a bigger reputation.
Paterson netted the opener in Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to relegated Bolton Wanderers, in the first Championship fixture of the season.
The victory meant more to the supporters than just the three points, two-and-a-half years after Coyle left Turf Moor for his old club Bolton.
Coyle, of course, led the club to the Carling Cup semi-final and promotion to the Premier League, before his acrimonious departure.
But Paterson, who scored 19 goals in that glorious campaign after being signed by Coyle, feels it is now Howe’s star which is on the rise. He said: “We were all disappointed at the timing of such things, but we’ve moved on.
“I think possibly at the time the gaffer, Owen Coyle, was an up-and-coming promising manager.
“I think now if you ask the question who most big clubs would want, I think they’d want our gaffer over the last.”
Not that the Northern Ireland frontman wants to see that situation emerge in the near future, as he joked: “We’ll just have to play badly from now on!
“Don’t worry about that. We’ll just keep losing games to keep him!”
On a serious note, the 25-year-old was thrilled to start, and get off the mark – along with Charlie Austin, who he partnered for only the second time: “It was a big game at the start of the season and obviously with the Bolton link that we have it’s good to get the win.
“I’m delighted, I’ve started strong and I’ll look to carry on in that fashion.
“Goalscorers want to score.
“I’ve always said, when I’m fit I’ll score. I’m a handful for any defender I believe, when I’m fully fit, and I’m fully fit.
“Obviously Charlie’s started off well and I’ve started off well, and Vokesy’s waiting there and I’m sure when he gets to play he’ll take his chance as well.”
There was a suspicion of off-side about his goal - and a glance at the linesman - but he smiled: “I’m not fussed. I couldn’t care less. As long as the linesman didn’t put his flag up I was happy to receive it.
“I should have probably scored another couple as well. I had little half chances and openings, but that will come.
“I really am working hard on my game in training. I’m 25, I’ve still got four years to push on to get to my peak. I’m doing it.”
Burnley look to build on Saturday with away games at Middlesbrough tonight and Huddersfield on Saturday, and Paterson feels this is a key time: “It’s a tight league again. I think we can take confidence from Saturday. If we can knuckle down and work hard we can be in that mix.
“Saturday sets you up nicely. The next four or five games are vital.
“We’ve got to take this on now – not get carried away but keep our heads and push towards Christmas and from Christmas push towards the end of the year. It’s non-stop.”
Seven wins out of 23 in the league at Turf Moor wasn’t ideal last term, but after a week on the road, Paterson would like to play in a similar atmosphere to Saturday every week: “It does help. The more you cram in here the more it helps.
“It’s good the club got this many fans in and it’s good the fans came to watch this game. Due to who we’re playing possibly more came, but if I can encourage them all to come again – when this place is bouncing it’s intimidating, it really is. It’s a great place to play.”