MARTIN Paterson has admitted that he needs to start finding the net more regularly again – but knows he faces a near impossible task to displace Charlie Austin in the Burnley team.
Paterson came off the bench to score for the first time in three months and secure a 2-2 draw at Peterborough on Saturday, and the striker is not content with his tally of five goals for the Clarets this season.
The 25-year-old was Burnley’s 19-goal top scorer during their promotion season four years ago but has suffered with injuries since then.
He acknowledges his role now is more likely to be supplementing the goals of Austin from the bench rather than being the Clarets’ main man.
Star striker Austin netted his 24th goal of the season on Saturday, just 60 seconds into his comeback from a hamstring injury.
“I will possibly have to shoot Charlie to get a game if I’m honest, which I’ve contemplated!” Paterson joked.
“It’s up to me to score more, I’m disappointed with my tally but I’m working away in training and working very hard to rectify that.
“I had a little setback with a tight thigh a couple of weeks ago and to be out of the team is frustrating.
“But at the end of the day I’m in a great job and I work hard in training.
“Things like Saturday make it worthwhile, if you come on and score the goal. I’ve helped the team and that means the world to me.
“I’m delighted about that and now it’s my turn to push on and try to push the other strikers, if I can push Charlie.
“I don’t think I can with the amount of goals he’s scoring but if there’s a point where I’m needed to go on and score a goal, I’m ready.”
Paterson partnered Sam Vokes in the latter stages of Saturday’s draw, which moved seventh-placed Burnley to within four points of the play-off spots.
He has often played in a wider role in recent times, with a 4-3-3 formation often utilised by boss Sean Dyche, but admits he feels more effective in a central position.
“The amount of games I have missed over the last two years, every time I get on the field regardless of where I play is a blessing to me,” Paterson said.
“But deep down, yes, I want to play down the middle and I want to score goals.
“It is hard when you play one up front and Charlie has scored with pretty much every touch he has so it’s pretty hard to get a game!
“I was saying all week I thought I was getting very close to scoring a goal soon.
“I got put on up front with big Vokesy and got myself in and amongst the box. When I do I usually score goals.
“Maybe at times we might play with a two, which would be good for me because obviously I like to play with a big one.
“But the system that we’re playing, which really is working at the moment because the lads are doing really well, for me the most important thing is when I’m called upon I do the job for the team wherever I go.
“I’d like it to be up front and scoring goals but even if it isn’t, I always do my best.
“I’m working hard on my game and I’m convinced once I do get more minutes on the park I’ll score some goals.”
Paterson almost won it for the Clarets in the dying moments on Saturday when Bobby Olejnik made a fine save to deny his flicked header.
And the former Scunthorpe man admitted a little disappointment to only pick up a point against the team currently bottom of the table, having led 1-0 at half time.
“I think obviously it’s a point gained on the board but from how we played in the first half in my opinion it’s possibly two points dropped,” Paterson said.
“We got a goal at the end to get a point and you can’t really turn your nose up at that, but in my opinion from passages of play we should have won the game.”