Burnley boss Howe looking forward to working with new chief exec

CLARETS boss Eddie Howe believes the appointment of a new chief executive will help make his job easier.

Lee Hoos was unveiled as Paul Fletcher’s replacement on Wednesday, and will start his new role on Tuesday.

But the 50-year-old American, the club’s first overseas CEO, will have a slightly different role than Fletcher, on that he will take responsibility for player negotiations.

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Hoos, who previously held the role at Southampton and Leicester City, will take some of the weight off Howe in that respect, so he can focus on preparing his players.

And Howe said: “It’s the plan to work closely with him, to build that relationship.

“It’s a new structure and I’m looking forward to working with him.

“I’ve heard very good things and I think it’s a very positive move for the club.

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“I think it will be an excellent addition, not just in terms of transfers but in various aspects of the day to day running of the football club – to have someone there full-time who is going to be a direct help to me will be a real bonus for us.

“It’s something that we’ve needed and hopefully it will be something that helps us become a more all-round outfit.”

Howe feels it brings the club in line with the modern game: “The organisations and structures of all football clubs are so big now the contracts of players are so vast you’ve got to have an expert in the field of not just negotiations, but in the contracts and making sure you get all parts of the details right.

“That’s way beyond any manager of any club. I think it’s got to be left to the professionals.

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“I know Brendan (Flood)’s played a big role in that previously, so it will take some of the weight off him and that’s going to be good.

“In the old days managers could do it all, but things have got so big now within the business of football clubs you need someone there full-time.

“It’s no surprise that most other clubs are run that way, I just think we fall into line now.”

Howe also praised the departing Fletcher: “I’d like to pass on my best wishes to Paul, who did a great job while he was here.”

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Meanwhile, Howe will leave a decision on whether Martin Paterson and Charlie Austin are available to face Portsmouth at Turf Moor tomorrow to the players.

Both have come through behind-closed-doors games against Wigan last week and Crewe this after injury, and the strike pair are in contention to return: “The lads coming back is great news for everybody.

“Pato’s been a long-term one and we’ve been desperate to get him back fit, and we’re just hopeful that Charlie’s going to be okay. It’s really good news.

“Both lads are in the early stages (of their comeback) but it will give me a nice problem when they’re 100% fit and ready to play. I’d much rather that than the other way around.

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“We’ll have a look at it. They played Tuesday, and Wednesday was a recovery day for them, so we’ll have a look at how they feel.

“I wouldn’t want to push them into playing when they don’t feel ready.

“It will be determined at this stage by the players themselves.

“They were fine on Wednesday. No problems.

“Pato’s been feeling good now for a long period of time and there’s no reaction at all.

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“With Charlie I think it’s the mental barrier and that’s what pleased me watching him play on Tuesday – he was his normal self, so fingers crossed on that one.

“When the game’s going it’s very difficult to think of anything other than the ball and playing how you do.

“He’s going to have to take a few challenges and playing as he does he’s very aggressive, so he needs to feel confident in himself and he looks like he is.”

Danny Ings is also a month or so away from returning, but Brian Jensen has suffered a setback: “He’s had an injection in his groin so he’s going to be another four to six weeks.

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“He just kept feeling twinges in his groin. He was very close to being 100% and then he had a little twinge in there.

“He’s been to see a specialist who has injected it, so hopefully that’s helped to get to the bottom of the problem and he just now needs a set period of time.”

Portsmouth is the first of three home games in the next four - and Howe senses a chance to kick on after climbing to 11th with three wins on the spin: “From my point of view we can’t get carried away, but this is a massive period for us.

“It is a good opportunity for us, but we’ve seen in this league and last season that there have been false dawns and setbacks and disappointments and inconsistencies. So we really want to make the most of this opportunity and try to continue the run that we’re on.

“We’ve been working very hard all week to make sure that we haven’t got carried away at all and it’s just been a normal week’s preparation and we’re hopeful that will reflect in the performance.”