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Burnley boss Howe hails daddy cool Charlie after Vale victory
BURNLEY boss Eddie Howe paid tribute to new dad Charlie Austin, who kicked off the season with a goal in last night’s 3-1 cup win over Port Vale.
The striker had not been around the club for the previous four days after his partner gave birth to their daughter – their first child – at the weekend.
There is more focus on Austin this season, following the summer sale of top scorer Jay Rodriguez.
But he responded by getting among the goals to put the Clarets through to the second round of the Capital One Cup, ahead of Saturday’s Championship opener at home to Bolton Wanderers.
“I’m really pleased for Charlie. He hasn’t been with us for four days, we haven’t seen him – but he did what he does, he popped up and tucked it away well,” said Howe, after Austin scored the second in the win at Vale Park – with all the goals coming in the first half.
“Charlie is one of those players that needs to train consistently to be right at his best, so we’ll be pleased to get him back in amongst us.
“But he’s on cloud nine at the moment, he had a little baby girl and a goal tonight, so I’m really pleased with him.”
Howe was pleased also with much of his side’s performance – notably the first half, after they came back from behind.
Chris McCann cancelled out Chris Shuker’s early opener, before Dean Marney wrapped up the win with the third.
Port Vale came on strong in the second half, and but for a couple of good saves by Lee Grant might have pushed for a nervy finish.
In the end Burnley saw the game out well, but Howe admitted there is work to do as they build up to Saturday’s derby.
“It was a good test, they were a threat from set plays – a big side – and lumped a lot of balls into our box. It was pleasing from that aspect that we dealt with that, not as entirely well as I’d have hoped, but we dealt with it,” said Howe.
“I did think we could have adapted better in the second half to how they played. I have said that to the players, that for all our plus points in the first half we need to think about the second half and make sure we improve on every performance.
“I would have liked a little more composure. Port Vale changed their gameplan and got after us in the second half and I don’t think we adapted, and you have to. A little bit more composure on the ball, better decision making – things I’m sure that I’ll say throughout the season.
“You want to try to be perfect in every game.
“I’m pleased with the win, and that hopefully gives us momentum going into Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Howe will assess midfielder Chris McCann ahead of the Championship opener.
“The only slight concern will be Chris, who just rolled his ankle,” he said. “But everyone else looks okay.”