CHARLIE Austin has more goals than Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and David Villa put together this season, but Sean Dyche wants to get even more out of his star striker.
The new Burnley boss saw Austin stretch his lead as the country’s top scorer on Saturday, as he took his tally for the season to 19 by completing a 2-0 win over Wolves. He has al-ready broken one club record, with more goals in an eight-game scoring streak than any other Claret.
He will break another ton-ight with a goal against Leeds, after matching John Francis’ 1991 run of scoring in five straight home games on Saturday.
But Dyche believes there is even more to come from the 23-year-old, who dedicated Saturday’s goal to son Taylor – a mascot for the day.
The boss is willing to work on making Austin a more rounded centre forward, without detracting from his predatory instincts.
“He is still young. People forget that. It’s about letting him be free thinking enough to get in the positions he does to score goals, of course,” said Dyche.
“We are not on about drastically changing the style of play or the way he plays, but just adding little things.
“It’s more like game knowledge as he gets older and develops further.
“It’s about understanding not just the goalscoring but the game at large and the way it works and things that can affect the team, like hold-up play and movement patterns and things like that.
“But that’s a longer term thing.
“At the minute he is free-flowing and I am a great believer in not trying to play around with people too much – just give them little tiny details to think about.”
Dyche’s defensive messages have already come across, as a clean sheet against Wolves was the product of just three days’ work on the training ground.
And similar methods will be required again tonight if they are to succeed in stopping an equally physical Leeds United team.
“I know Neil (Warnock) quite well,” Dyche said.
“He has been very good for myself and Malky (Mackay) in the past, he’s been very open with us. They will be tough, that’s how they play, Neil likes a tough mentality, as do I.
“It’s important our players are aware of that.
“Neil insists on a certain mentality from his team, so we have to match that and go beyond it to make sure we’re ready and to win a game.
“Wolves came on Saturday and played very direct against us, which was an interesting one – I’m not sure that’s what they normally try to do.
“They also tried to stop us playing.
“That’s going to be a regular thing, because having been an opposition manager I know that’s what teams try to do.
“It’s about finding that Plan B and sometimes a Plan C. Of course we want to play the right way and of course we want to give fans a good performance as regards playing football, passing, movement, creating chances.
“But there has to be that resilience that on a day like Saturday when you have to dig in and make sure you keep that clean sheet to win a game, then you can do that.”
Dyche hopes to have both Chris McCann and Ross Wallace available for selection. McCann missed the visit of Wolves because of a minor hamstring problem, while Wallace was carried off on a stretcher after taking a blow to the face.
“If they come through the training session we’re hoping to have them available to add to the squad,” said the Burnley boss.