When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Clarets seek deal before pre-season tour
BURNLEY are bidding to add midfield reinforcements before leaving for their pre-season training camp this weekend.
Brian Stock is understood to still be high on manager Eddie Howe’s wanted list, but the Clarets may be facing com-petition from Nottingham Forest for the Doncaster Rovers star’s signature.
Sean O’Driscoll, who was last week named Steve Cotterill’s successor at the City Ground, took Stock to Doncaster originally in 2007, signing him from Preston, having previously brought him through the ranks at Bournemouth.
But Howe also worked with the 30-year-old at Dean Court, where they were team-mates, and is understood to be hopeful of a reunion.
The Clarets boss hinted at further additions this week, saying: “We’re hoping to add before the weekend, maybe more than one.”
Striker Sam Vokes is also among his list of targets, after boosting his reputation at Turf Moor with an impressive two-month loan spell last season.
At this stage, however, it seems more likely that Howe may have to settle for only one new arrival before the team set off to Bath on Sunday, and a midfielder has top priority with the board.
“I’d like my squad in place as quickly as I can,” said Howe.
“We feel that there are still positions to improve.
“The time frame on that? We'll have to wait and see.”
But Howe, who has already added Jason Shackell, Joseph Mills, Luke O’Neill and George Porter to his ranks, is hopeful of having the majority of his summer signings in place to get the biggest benefits of the pre-season tour.
“The trip away is always a big week for the players, I think they look forward to that to feel fully part of the squad. It's always difficult when you first come in to any club, any building, to feel at home straight away. That week away gives them the opportunity to get to know the players and enjoy each other’s company.
“I'd love to get my business done by then, but we'll see.
“From our perspective we don't feel we're the finished article yet, there's still work to do, but we feel we're moving in the right direction.”
Burnley have begun their summer programme with back-to-back friendly wins, backing up Saturday’s 4-1 win at Altrincham with a 1-0 win at Bury on Tuesday, where Danny Ings scored the winner from Keith Treacy’s cross.
Treacy also set up the last of Charlie Austin’s two goals at Altrincham, and Howe admitted he was pleased with the Irish winger’s summer form.
"I thought Keith was very good (at Bury) and showed flashes of real quality,” said the Burnley boss.
“He's not hurried on the ball, he's composed and can beat people and he's a goal scoring threat so we're wanting to get the best out of him. We all know what a talent he is and it's just a case of realising that talent.
"We would love to get the best out of him and we'd love him to stay. We believe he can be a real success here and that's why we signed him. We know the kind of player he can be.
"Keith has trained well, we've had no problems or issues with him and he's got his head down and worked hard just like all the other players have. I think that's been reflected in his last two performances.”