THE best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, as the famous novel goes.
But Clarets boss Eddie hopes meticulous attention to detail will give his Burnley side the tools to start the season in style at home to Watford tomorrow.
With no new names expected to join the four summer signings - Ben Mee, Kieran Trippier, Keith Treacy and Jon Stewart - before the visit of the Hornets, Howe is still confident his younger squad can hit the ground running after a tailor-made pre-season schedule.
Howe said: “We have been working on a couple of things still that I would like to do before the game, but if not, we’re quite happy to go with what we’ve got.
“I think we need another centre forward, without a doubt. Currently we only have three recognised strikers so I think that’s a little bit light.
“That’s definitely one area, and a couple of other areas we’ve been working on all summer so let’s see how we go.”
And he looked ahead to the season: “We’ve obviously got our sights set very high, as you have to.
“We’re confident of ourselves and our ability.
“We’re confident we’re going to have a good season, and we want to hit the ground running.
“We’re going to try and do as well as we can this year.
“Every season you want to be stronger on and off the pitch, so my big aim is to try and grow the club and make it a better club than when I came here.
“You do the job the best you can day by day.”
He has a fully-fit squad to select from - and Treacy is in line for a debut after impressing in training: “Keith is in my plans, I’ll have to make a late decision on the team. He’s done well in training but is slightly short in terms of fitness compared to the other lads because he had international commitments and was unwell last week.
“But he’s definitely in contention.”
The rest of the players are ready to go as well: “Touch wood, it’s always great not to pick up any injuries, We worked hard in terms of designing the pre-season programme, and (fitness coach) Jon Dalzell is, as I keep saying, the best there is.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we haven’t picked up any injuries. We’ve worked the lads hard, but there is a balance of how hard you can work them before you break them.
“It takes a little bit of planning, we sat down in the summer and designed it and Jon had a big imput.
“The lads haven’t done a lot of running without the ball, it’s always been by their side so hopefully they’vce enjoyed it.
“The lads have got a lot fitter since the first bleep tests and that’s really pleased me.
“I can’t ask any more of them. It’s gone well but the acid test is in the results.”