Chris Eagles really flying
But Clarets boss Brian Laws isn’t worried about losing his star turn in January.
The wideman has started the last eight games since ending any doubts over his immediate future by agreeing a new-two year deal.
Having turned down a summer move to Rangers, he has gone on to claim six goal and a string of assists, having added a real work ethic to his undoubted quality.
Laws is thrilled with the former Manchester United man, and not concerned about unwanted suitors: “No. I think the time to worry was in the summer, but that’s all behind us now. He’s signed a new contract, he’s here for the next few years.
“He’s settled. He went to Rangers and had a chat with them – we wanted him to have a look at it – because we know that if he’s happy he’ll play where he’s happy.
“He’s definitely happy here. You can see that in his performances and in himself.
“That doesn’t worry me one bit. If people are watching him, great.
“That means he’s in top form, it means we’re doing something right and we’ll get the benefits from it.”
Laws is getting the best out of him, and has to take some of the credit, with communication between the pair playing a big part.
Asked what had clicked with Eagles, Laws said: “Because I wouldn’t play him. Fact. I said I wouldn’t play him unless he’s prepared to do the other bit.
“He asked me what he needed and required. We told him and showed him.
“I even said I was prepared to shout on the touchline and tell him if he needed a trigger.
“I think the communication between Chris and myself on the touchline is good.
“I often give him a trigger and he’ll do it.
“But he got in the side and he’s put in the work rate.
“We know his ability with the ball. We know what he can do. But from the team’s point of view we needed the other side, and he’s doing it.
“He’s switched on and he’s taken it all on board.”
Eagles may have mildly chastised himself for showboating on Tuesday, but Laws is happy to see the flicks and tricks, if they are used in the right manner: “I think Chris epitomises the way we are at the moment.
“He’s in such a confident mood he’s prepared to try things, and that’s what you want, as long as it’s not to a degree of detriment to the team or disrespectful to the opposition.
“But I think if you’re confident enough to do things and he has that in his locker, it gets everybody going.
“There’s no question about it. It gets you on the edge of your seat and I don’t mind him trying things like that, particularly when we’re in a confident mood. But I’d like to see that in their half, not in ours.”
He will hope Eagles is again at his best tomorrow at home to Reading, as the Clarets look to maintain a superb home record, having won six of their seven games in all competitions so far.
But, as on Tuesday when Barnsley were finally worn down in the second half, Laws feels everyone has to be patient against the Royals.
He said: “No team is going to come here and lie down. We’re not going to steamroller every team that comes to Turf Moor, although I think the fans are starting to expect that.
“We have to be patient as a team, as well as the supporters needing to be patient.
“Realistically there are going to be times when the opposition is going to try to work really hard to snuff us out, and stop us from playing.
“I think the crowd, at the moment, are expecting it and they need to cool their jets a wee bit.
“The supporters are going to play a massive role at Turf Moor.
“We want them to be noisy and very supportive of the team because that puts pressure on the opposition as well.
“If both of us can work together, I think we’ve got a good formula.”
His side also have to show patience, while looking to play in a progressive, high-tempo fashion: “What we were trying to do in the first half against Barnsley was score in two or three passes and it wasn’t working.
“I said to need to slow it down, still be progressive with your passing – don’t be negative and go backwards – but go forward and build the passes up to four and five and when we get it into the right areas the quality will show.
“I think that’s what we did.
“We moved the ball so well in the second half.
“You can’t beat a ball. It’s quicker than you, it’s fitter than you and if you pass it simple the opposition are going to be chasing a lot of it, and I thought that’s what we did in the second half.”