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Derby day doubt for Stock
BRIAN Stock is a doubt for Saturday’s Championship showdown with Bolton Wanderers, after manager Eddie Howe revealed the midfielder’s fitness would need to be assessed.
Fresh from completing his move from Doncaster Rovers on Saturday the 30-year-old made his debut in Tuesday night’s 3-1 Capital One Cup win over Port Vale.
Howe later revealed it was the longest run-out Stock had been given since speculation over his future mounted earlier this summer.
As a result, the Clarets boss is in two minds whether to start with Stock for the much-anticipated league opener.
“That will be a decision I need to make prior to the game,” he said.
“He’s had a real lack of football in the last few weeks because I think Doncaster knew themove was on the horizon so he hadn’t trained or played really, through fear of getting injured and scuppering the move.
“I thought he did well, but I think he’ll get better with more game-time.”
But Howe revealed previous injuries means Stock’s minutes will need to be monitored during the course of the season.
“When we signed Brian we knew he’s not going to be a 46 game-a-season man and he’s not going to play Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday,” he explained.
“He’s had a couple of injuries in his career so we’ve got to nurse him through the season really and pick and choose his games.”
But Howe remains encouraged about what the former Bournemouth midfielder can offer the team and the squad.
“I thought (on Tuesday) he showed what he’s going to bring us, composure on the ball, an array of passing and I think as he gets to know the players his performances will in turn improve,” said Howe, who is hopeful that his trio of international players who missed the game at Vale Park will all report back fit at Gawthorpe today.
Martin Paterson and Daniel Lafferty were in Belfast for last night’s friendly with Finland, while Sam Vokes was with Wales for their friendly at home to Bosnia Herzegovina.
Although Burnley had enough within their squad to comfortably overcome Port Vale regardless, Howe said: “We’d love to see those lads (on international duty) come back fit and healthy and compete for a place for Saturday.”