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Burnley to step up interest in Bristol City striker Pitman
BURNLEY boss Eddie Howe is looking to add to his attacking options, and could step up his interest in Bristol City striker Brett Pitman.
Wigan winger Callum McManaman has been linked with the Clarets on a season long loan as Howe explores his options while he awaits developments in former striker Steven Fletcher’s protracted move to Sunderland.
That took a step closer to nearing completion yesterday after Wolves accepted an offer of around £14million.
The deal is subject to terms being agreed, but the Clarets could be in line to receive somewhere in the region of £1m after agreeing a sell-on clause of 15 per cent of any future profit.
I understand the Burnley board took a gamble on receiving that windfall to speed up the process of bringing Brian Stock to Turf Moor following weeks of speculation.
But by Wolves holding out until their £15m valuation of the Scot was almost reached, the Clarets are set to receive more than they originally bargained for. And that excess could go towards helping Howe to boost his forward line, following injury to Danny Ings.
“We’re waiting on other things at the moment,” said the Burnley boss, who made six summer signings, including a season-long loan deal for Reading defender Joseph Mills.
“We keep checking to see what’s happening, but there hasn’t been a lot of movement. Hopefully there will be.”
The need to boost Burnley’s ammunition was highlighted by having only two strikers to rely on for the midweek trip to Middlesbrough. Martin Paterson was rested as a precaution after complaining of tight hamstrings following the 2-0 win over Bolton, in which he scored the opening goal, while Danny Ings is a long-term casualty.
Howe insisted there was nothing sinister surrounding Paterson’s absence, just the need to nurse him through this season after three injury-ravaged campaign.
“We want Pato fit long-term. He just felt a little bit tight after the game against Bolton and we certainly don’t want to take any risks with him at this stage of the season,” said the Burnley boss.
“It did hurt us in terms of being down to two strikers, which isn’t ideal, and it gave us a problem in terms of bringing someone off the bench.
“But that’s where we are at the moment, we’re quite thin on the ground. We need to get people like Keith (Treacy) back and hopefully Pato will come back into the squad for Saturday.”
Burnley opted to pack the midfield after replacing Sam Vokes just before the hour on Tuesday.
“Sam’s not had a lot of football. I felt we were coming under a bit of pressure and we wanted to try to bolster our midfield to try to get hold of the game and try to get Marvin Bartley’s energy on the pitch,” said Howe, who praised Austin for doing his utmost to make up for the lack of numbers with a goal a game – added to the five he scored in as many pre-season friendlies.
“If you get crosses into the box – I’ve said it before, his movement is so good he always seems to be in the right place at the right time,” said the Burnley boss after Austin gave the Clarets a head-start at The Riverside, albeit shortlived.
“I felt for 20 minutes down the right hand side in the first half we got really good balls into the box. Kieran and Ross linked really well and Charlie’s on the end of it.
“It was just conceding as soon as we scored that was a blow. We did work hard in the first half.
“What pleased me most was when we did concede to go 2-1 down the immediate response from our guys was to never let our heads drop, we carried on right to the end. We scored a really good equaliser. “It just wasn’t to be in the end.”