‘We have to cut out sloppy goals’ - Eddie Howe

CLARETS boss Eddie Howe lamented his side’s defending as they fell to a second-successive defeat at Barnsley.

The Tykes scored through Jacob Butterfield midway through the half, before Ricardo Vaz Te’s late clincher, and Howe said: “The defending was poor for the two goals. They also had a couple of breakaways at the beginning of the second half which could have cost us as well, which we’re always disappointed with. You’ve got to give yourself a chance when you come away from home.

“You’ve got to stay in the game and make sure you don’t concede sloppy goals but it’s something we’ve done all season.

“Charlie Austin had six or seven shots and two or three could have gone in on another night. Chris McCann’s effort, Ross Wallace’s shot off the line, Jay hits the crossbar.

“I feel we’ve had enough to be in the game, but getting that first goal is always important.”

Howe is working with a small squad, but feels there is sufficient quality: “We’ve got good players, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

“We do have a small squad but I still believe in the players we have.

“I don’t think any team this season has been far superior to us.

“We’ve been in every game and could have won every game.

“But small margins cost you and one, when we’re on top, we haven’t scored - at the beginning of the second half we were dominant and we really needed a goal but we didn’t get it.

“And then we concede a really poor second goal which kills the game.”

Prior to Saturday, Burnley were unbeaten in four, and, as then, he won’t get carried away one way or the other: “You’ve seen the extreme reactions, that’s football. People do have extremes as supporters and I can understand it. It’s my job to try to stay on a level footing. Obviously I’m aware of results and the need to improve them.

“I would ask the fans to stick with me and my team, not just my coaching team but the players as well to see if we can come through this together.

“I think I’m an honest guy and I think I would be the first to put my hand up and say ‘it’s not going to work’ if I thought that.”