Charlie Austin key to away success
The Clarets have started the campaign with three defeats in three games away from home, including Wednesday night’s 2-1 setback at Leicester City, which Austin sat out with a hip problem.
Having won 10 away games last season - one less than the club record - Burnley have now lost their last four away from Turf Moor, their worst run since the ill-fated Premier League campaign.
Howe admitted: “I think it’s always a concern when you’re losing on the road.
“We had an excellent away record last year and I don’t think much has changed.
“I think we’ll pick up points sooner rather than later, and it’s that type of league.
“I don’t think we’re alone in that respect.
“For whatever reason this year it’s been quite hard to win away from home for several teams.”
There are 11 Championship clubs without an away win so far, and five without a point, and Howe would accept a scrappy draw: “An ugly draw would probably help.
“If we could have got a late equaliser at Leicester it would have been a great result for us but now we’ve got to look to Derby and try to get points there.”
Austin, along with Michael Duff, who had an Achilles injury, missed the defeat at the King Power Stadium, and without long-term casualty Danny Ings, and Martin Paterson building up his fitness, Howe’s striking options were slim at Leicester.
He hopes to see Austin resume at Pride Park however: “Charlie took a bash in training, right at the end of the session on Tuesday, so it was a real blow.
“Hopefully it’s nothing serious.
“I think you’ll always miss someone of Charlie’s ability and what he can bring to the side.
“In saying that I thought Pato and Sam (Vokes) did really well.
“The only big down side was that it left us short on options, and flexibility in terms of how we set up, so that forced our hand in that regard, but hopefully he won’t be out long-term.
“Duffo felt his Achilles on Saturday, that was one that flared up really after the game, but hopefully it’s nothing serious there either.”
Paterson has played an hour in the last two games, with Howe looking to manage his fitness and avoid further injury when fatigued, and he added: “We had to protect him and take him off after 60 minutes, so hopefully he’s come through okay.
“The game being on a Wednesday helped, and gave him an extra day to recover from Saturday.
“We were confident enough and he was confident enough that he’d be fine.”
Midfielder Brian Stock made his first league start, and was neat and tidy before being withdrawn on the hour as Howe switched to 3-4-3 to chase the game, and he said: “I thought Brian did well.
“He was excellent in the first part of the game when we trusted him and gave him the ball.
“When we stopped passing the ball a bit it changed. His strength is he needs the ball to be really affective.
“I think the team’s seen what a good passer of the ball and how composed he is as well, hopefully that’s a good sign.”