BRIAN Laws has insisted that Robbie Blake is too important to the Burnley survival effort to be loaned out before the end of the season.

Blake was linked with temporary moves to Championship sides Preston and Barnsley before the closure of the transfer window, and the Clarets would still be able to let members of their current squad join Football League clubs once the loan window reopens next week.

Blake had found himself out of the starting line-up for the Clarets’ last six league games – including the last four of Owen Coyle’s tenure – but Laws restored the 33-year-old to the 11 for the weekend defeat to Chelsea.

David Nugent missed that game because he was still waiting for his loan extension to be ratified and the striker’s return could put pressure on Blake’s place for Saturday’s home clash with West Ham United.

But the forward, who is out of contract at the end of the season, was one of Burnley’s star men in the early weeks of the campaign and Laws has made it clear that he will not entertain interest from elsewhere.

“It’s not surprising that someone like Robbie will get interest,” said Laws.

“He’s a quality player and if we want to stay in the Premier League he’s a player we’d want to keep.

“If we want to achieve what we’ve set out to do, we’d be foolish to let him go anywhere.”

Jay Rodriguez, Remco van der Schaaf and Jonathan Lund did leave on loan during the transfer window but Laws believes he has the squad to keep Burnley in the Premier League after bringing in six players - Frederic Nimani, Nicky Weaver, Leon Cort, Danny Fox, Nugent and Jack Cork.

“It was difficult because normally you plan for a transfer window months in advance and do your research,” said Laws, who was installed as Clarets boss midway through January after leaving Sheffield Wednesday a month earlier.

“In this case we had only 10 days but I’m happy with the business we did.

“I said that in this situation I would have to make some brutal decisions. It’s not easy but that’s what we had to do.

“We had to make a quick judgement call on the squad but I did know quite a bit about the players at the football club, having played against them and had dossiers on them.

“I’m happy that we have a squad that will bring us the success we need in the Premier League.”

The January window may have only just shut but Laws’ belief in preparation is such that he has already started travelling to other matches with an eye on potential targets for the summer.

“There’s no time for rest,” he said.

“Once the first window closes you then look towards the second window.

“We have already started planning for that and next season.

“We can start to look at the long term more now.”