CLARETS boss Eddie Howe admits he has some tough calls to make as he plans the way forward for Burnley.
The Clarets’ chances of reaching the play-offs in their first season back in the Championship after relegation from the Premier League evaporated on Saturday.
A 1-0 defeat at Leeds, coupled with Nottingham Forest’s 5-1 win over Scunthorpe, means there is little other than pride at stake in Saturday’s last game of the season at home to Cardiff
Ahead of his first full campaign, Howe is already looking forward to building his team, after inheriting the side in January.
Chris McCann - who is close to signing a new deal, Steven Thompson, Kevin McDonald, the long-forgotten Remco van der Schaaf and Remco van der Schaaf and eight professionals from within the development squad are out of contract, and Howe anticipates a busy period: “I think we’ve got to sit down and probably make some tough calls.
“I don’t think there’s a massive overhaul needed but I think we need to tweak things and I’m quite prepared to do that.
“I think we need some fresh blood as well, some new players, so we’ll hopefully make the right decisions and come back a better team.
“We’ve not got a lot out of contract so it’s going to be a busy summer.
“We’re going to have to speak to all the players first and let them go away and get their rest and come back afresh and enthused.
“Pre-season’s going to be so important because we can really get our ideas across and get the team organised.
“The biggest thing for us next year is to be consistent. It was reflected at Leeds in a poor performance, whereas the previous four have been excellent.
“We need to try to find that consistency week in, week out, which all the best teams do.”
Howe has had to assess things on the hoof after his appointment, but can now take stock and further imprint his philosophy on the squad: “It is quite difficult when you come in, because you’re right in the middle of a season and you’ve got games coming thick and fast and we haven’t been able to perhaps implement things that we wanted to do.
“We’ll now be given a chance to do that, which we’re looking forward to.
“We need to make sure when we come back next season that we’re a better team, a better squad and hopefully we’ll be challenging at the right end.”