No Burnley return for Robbie Blake

NO RETURN: Robbie Blake in action for the Clarets during his second spell
NO RETURN: Robbie Blake in action for the Clarets during his second spell

BOLTON have offered Burnley former Claret Robbie Blake on loan.

But I understand no deal is likely to happen “at the moment”.

Bolton Wanderers' Robbie Blake (right) and York City's Daniel Parslow during the FA Cup Third round match at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 8, 2011. See PA Story: SOCCER Bolton. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. Use subject to restrictions. Editorial print use only except with prior written approval. New media use requires licence from Football DataCo Ltd. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions for full restrictions.

Bolton Wanderers' Robbie Blake (right) and York City's Daniel Parslow during the FA Cup Third round match at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 8, 2011. See PA Story: SOCCER Bolton. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. Use subject to restrictions. Editorial print use only except with prior written approval. New media use requires licence from Football DataCo Ltd. Call +44 (0)1158 447447 or see www.pressassociation.com/images/restrictions for full restrictions.

Former boss Owen Coyle is believed to have proposed the possibility of Blake linking up with the Clarets for a third time, after meeting Burnley’s operational director Brendan Flood.

Flood and Coyle were spotted at the Reebok Stadium last Thursday.

The 35-year-old Blake was a huge crowd favourite in two spells with the club, going down as one of the best Burnley players of the last 30 years.

He turned down a contract offer from then-boss Brian Laws after the club were relegated from the Premier League, preferring to link up again with Coyle.

However, he hasn’t started a Premier League game for the Trotters - his last league start coming for Burnley in their 6-1 home defeat against Manchester City in April last year.

Blake has made only 14 appearances in total for Bolton, including their Carling Cup exit at Turf Moor last season.

He turned down a loan switch to Norwich late last season as the Canaries homed in on promotion.

It is believed Eddie Howe saw Blake in action against Arsenal Reserves at Leyland last Tuesday, but with Burnley well stocked in the forward areas, such an addition is not a priority.

Meanwhile, Howe accepts he will have to take criticism until Burnley’s league form picks up, but he is eager for the fans to persevere with his young squad: “I know it’s a results business, I know I’m going to be judged on results that aren’t very good at the moment so I’m going to get criticism.

“I’m old enough to take it, it’s the job I’m in, it doesn’t faze me.

“I’m prepared for it and probably deserve it.

“Results have been poor and I’m accountable for the results.

“That’s the nature of the business I’m in. I’m not naïve enough to think anything different.

“That side of things is fine, as long as it doesn’t affect the players. We can hopefully turn the corner by sticking together and by coming through this spell.

“It’s been a difficult summer for the club. We believe we’re going to be okay, we believe in the players that we’ve got. I think we’ve got a talented squad. For whatever reason things aren’t falling for us at the minute but I’m sure they will if we’re brave and keep fighting.”

He was delighted with the backing of the supporters at London Road, after a somewhat muted atmosphere at Turf Moor for the previous week’s defeat against Middlesbrough, and he added: “I think the majority of fans understand the situation we’ve had in the summer. I can’t thank them enough for their support.

“The ones that are critical, I don’t blame them. I just ask them to stick with the team and give them encouragement during the games because the players need that vocal support. Criticism while the game’s going on is very difficult to play in, especially at home.

“We’ve got three home games coming up so we’re going to really need the fans to back us if they can. If they want any frustrations at me then I’m quite prepared to take it.”

The first of three successive home games comes tonight with the Carling Cup third round tie against League 1 high flyers MK Dons, followed by tricky league assignments against Southampton and Nottingham Forest.

Howe hopes the cup can be a welcome distraction: “Possibly. We’ve said that before with cup games this season and they’ve turned out to be tough games.

“This one will be no different. I’ve seen MK Dons myself and they’re a very good side, doing very well in their league.

“We know it will be difficult but it might give us a chance to freshen the side up and rest a couple and have a look at maybe a couple of tweaks, whether it be formation or personnel.

“I think it’s a good game to hopefully build some confidence.”

He will be without Brian Jensen, who was forced off at Peterborough, however: “He pulled his groin taking a goal kick, which is a blow to us. We’ll be without Brian.

“We’ve got a few knocks. Dean Marney felt his stomach and Ben Mee was knocked out so there are a few weary bodies in there.

“We thought it was serious at the time with Ben, but he came round and managed to finish the game.

“We’ll have to keep an eye on him.”

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