Burnley boss looking for a positive response

PLENTY TO PONDER: Clarets boss Eddie Howe
PLENTY TO PONDER: Clarets boss Eddie Howe

CLARETS boss Eddie Howe has backed his squad to get out of their current predicament – starting tomorrow at home to Peterborough United (kick-off 3 p.m.).

After three successive league defeats, Burnley sit in the Championship’s bottom three, ahead of the visit of pointless Posh, who have lost all their games so far.

And while the loan window is now open, Howe believes in the players he already has at his disposal.

Howe had been looking to bring in a forward, but with Martin Paterson available again after a hamstring problem, he said: “Loans are an option to us, but I’d say at the moment if everybody’s fit and healthy, I won’t be delving into the loan market. I’ll back the squad I’ve got. I think it’s strong enough, I think it’s good enough.

“If we get any injuries from here on in, then we’ll probably look to move on someone, but I’ve got to have faith in my squad.”

Last week he was linked with a move for Sunderland’s Connor Wickham, who netted for England Under-21s on Monday, but Howe said: “He’s a player we admire, definitely. But we’ve got good players here. Unless we need to fill a place, I won’t be looking to bring someone in.”

Paterson, after withdrawing from the Northern Ireland squad to focus on getting fit, is raring to go again, and Howe hopes his bad luck is at an end.

He said: “With any player you can never tell what’s going to happen in a game, but he certainly played like he was in the shape of his life while he was on the pitch against Bolton.

“We do have to treat Pato carefully and be very sensible with what we do, and what we ask him to do. But I see no reason why he can’t stay fit for a number of games.

“He’s done everything. He’s meticulous, which you have to take your hat off to him for.

“He’s meticulous about how he prepares, what he does and what he can and can’t do.

“I just hope he gets the benefit of that, as he certainly deserves to.” Paterson, without any training behind him, came off the bench at half-time in the last game against Brighton, but has worked throughout the last fortnight to get up to speed, and Howe said: “It was really good from our perspective and I think from the player’s perspective.

“Yes, he played 45 minutes against Brighton but was by no means’ 100%. The training he’s done has been a really good intensity and I think it’s done him the world of good.

“Hopefully we can keep him fit for a run of games, and he is desperate to play for his country, so hopefully that will come again.”

Howe will also look at what condition David Edgar and Sam Vokes report back in after being away on international duty, especially Edgar, who played twice for Canada, in Toronto and Panama.

Howe said: “Looking back at last year, we were at times forced to play David after his long journeys and I think there were times when I probably would have looked to rest him in an ideal world.

“We’ll have a look at him and see how he is. Sometimes you can get a good gauge of how someone’s reacted to the travelling just by looking at them. We’ll have an assessment of him and then make a decision.

“Sam too had a big journey, so we’ll see how they are.”

Howe is eager to end the run of three defeats tomorrow, and he hopes to set things right from the first whistle.

He said: “There are several things that are key tomorrow, the attitude to the game, tempo, intensity – all those things that go together to make a good home performance we probably lacked against Brighton.

“I’ve said before, to get our fans with us, we need to show them we’re going to work hard from the first minute to the last, and we’re not going to fall down on hard work and attitude – things that we can directly influence.

“Added to that, I think we’ve got enough quality to win the game, so hopefully the crowd will see a positive reaction. We’re under no illusions, but all we can influence is what we do.

“I’m certainly expecting a performance from the players.

“One win and everything looks different, and I think that’s what we’ve got to focus on.”

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