Eddie Howe to stick to his footballing principles

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CLARETS boss Eddie Howe is determined to stick to his footballing principles as he ponders the way forward during the international break.

The defeat at Bristol City on Saturday was a second successive loss, and plunged Burnley down to 19th in the table – their lowest position in two months.

They lie five points from the bottom three, but conversely, only seven from the play-offs with a game in hand.

The glaring problem that requires much surgery before returning to action a week on Saturday at home to Leeds is a leaky defence, with only one clean sheet now in 31 games.

Asked what the solution is, to work harder with what is available, or look outside of the club, Howe said: “We’ll look at all the options available to us.

“The important thing is we stick to our principles and beliefs,

because we know and we believe that long-term, things will turn for us and we will get consistency – and we will go on a run of results.

“I do believe there are green shoots in there to pin our hopes on.

“The dividing lines are so small, and we’re finding ourselves on the wrong end of them at the moment.

“All our efforts need to go to sticking together and to getting the balance of power in our favour.”

The loan window closes on November 24th, but with Michael Duff and Martin Paterson close to full fitness, Howe said: “Without going too deep into it, we had our plans laid in the summer and unfortunately they didn’t come to fruition, so we’re are suffering with that now.

“To try to address it now is incredibly difficult.

“The summer was the time when we needed to act, now it’s quite difficult.

“We’re going to look at every possible option for us, because I feel we need to now.

“We need to act and try to improve things.

“But we’ve got Michael Duff now waiting in the wings. He just needs a couple of weeks’ fitness work, and he won’t be far away, and he’s a good old head to add to the group.

“Danny Ings is a way off, but Pato is not far away, and he’d be another massive one to add to the group.”

In the meantime, Howe has to make his side harder to beat. He said: “We do have the characteristics to do it. We need it on a consistent basis.

“I don’t think it’s just the back four or the goalkeeper, you really have to look at everybody.

“When you get done twice on the break like we did at Bristol, that comes down to everybody reacting and getting behind the ball again.

“It’s easy to label the problems with the back four, but we definitely share the team ethic and we all take responsibility for it.

“We’re flexible. The shape and formation is not an issue.

“It’s down to individuals within the team to make sure we cut out the mistakes.”

And he added: “I don’t think we’ve been really outplayed by any team really this season bar Middlesbrough.

“Saturday was no different. We kept the ball for long periods of time, frustrated them, created chances, but we did look like we were seconds away from conceding, and that’s the worry.

“It is the area we need to work on, and I can assure everyone that we will.

“The players are hugely frustrated, I’m massively frustrated and I know the supporters will be the same.

“We’ve got two weeks to dwell on a defeat and hopefully we’ll get the response against Leeds, that’s the most important thing.

“We’ll do whatever we can to make sure against Leeds we come out firing and try to get a result.”