Strike Duo Off Mark

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DAVE Kevan pointed to a number of positives after Burnley opened their pre-season schedule with a 3-2 win at Accrington.

Strikers Andy Gray and Steve Jones both netted to get up and running, while Alan Mahon produced a will o'the wisp performance that smacked of quality – having a hand in all three goals.

Wayne Thomas also showed he has made a full recovery from the broken metatarsal that ended his season in March, while transfer-listed Micah Hyde, Gifton Noel-Williams and Duane Courtney rolled up their sleeves and showed a good attitude.

The only slight downside was news that Danny Coyne is not quite ready to return to a match situation after his cruciate knee injury last September, while Danny Karbassiyoon, who makes up the transfer listed quartet, sat the game out with a minor knee problem.

Kevan was delighted to see the frontmen finding the back of the net so early in pre-season: "It's lovely for Andy and Steve to be off the mark, they will be the ones who will really appreciate it at this stage.

"But the mood in the dressing room was good from both sets of players we used.

"We're delighted we got our frontmen off the mark and got a result and another day's work under our belts.

"It's very early days and they've not done a lot of work together in training other than fitness-type work, so you can't read too much into it, but the signs were there that it will be a good partnership."

Mahon's sheer prescence at Turf Moor is a major fillip for the club and fans alike, and, having been described by Steve Cotterill as "the jewel in our crown" last term, the impish Irishman again underlined he will be a big player, as Kevan said: "Mahony's got great talent and if he can produce that type of free kick and that type of delivery and performance, along with the work that's needed to go along with all of that quality he has, Mahony will be a big player for us.

"He is a little bit of a free spirit, and at times it is difficult to nail him down, but Alan is more than willing to do a job for the team and for the club.

"And as we saw against Accrington, and towards the end of last season, he has tremendous quality in his left foot."

Kevan was also pleased to see a fitter-than-ever Thomas, who was labelled a potential Player of the Season by Cotterill ahead of his return from injury this term: "Obviously we're delighted for Wayne, and he will feel better mentally for having a game.

"He showed no signs of any problems and has come back in really good shape.

"He's worked very hard through the summer and is probably as fit as I've seen him, to be honest, in the years that I've known him."

And Kevan praised the efforts of the transfer-listed trio Hyde, Noel-Williams and Courtney, along with Karbassiyoon: "There's no problems with any of the four boys on the transfer list, and while they are here, they will give their all for Burnley, there's no doubt about that."

Kevan is also hopeful of encouraging news on both Dannys: "Danny Coyne's only really just gone back into what we call normal training.

"The work Danny has done all summer was mainly rehab, so he's still not at the contact stage, but he's working hard with Phil Hughes, the goalkeeping coach, and we just need to monitor him and make sure that we throw him in when he's right.

"Danny Karbassiyoon picked up a slight knee problem, he had a little bit of swelling, but Danny was hopeful he would be back training early this week."

The Clarets get their next taste of friendly action a week tonight at Bury, before entertaining Bolton at home on Saturday, July 22nd and travelling out for a training camp in Italy ahead of the big kick-off at Turf Moor against QPR on Saturday, August 5th.

Burnley Football Club are looking for landladies or landlords to provide accommodation on a full-time basis throughout the season, for their overseas apprentice footballers.

Dinner, bed and breakfast would need to be provided, and hosts must be able to take in a minimum of two players.

If you would like further details or are able to help, please contact Jeff Taylor (07811 614536).