YOUNG Burnley striker Alex MacDonald earned praise from manager Eddie Howe for making a goalscoring return to first team action.

The 21-year-old has spent the last couple of seasons in the Clarets wilderness, after first breaking onto the scene in 2008 under former boss Owen Coyle.

A loan spell to Scottish Premier League side Inverness Caledonian Thistle proved a frustrating time last season as he was restricted to only 11 appearances in four months north of the border.

But Howe has welcomed MacDonald back to the Burnley fold, and he hit the ground running with the opening goal in a 4-2 win over Altrincham on Saturday.

“All the young lads have come back and done well.

"Macca especially I thought was lively in the first half and showed a terrific appetite for the game, a really good attitude and I thought he was very bright,” said the Burnley boss.

“I’m pleased for him. He had a loan spell in Scotland last season and he didn’t play as much as we all wanted him to really.

"I know he got frustrated at times but the first time I saw him I liked him. He’s got something.

"There are positive signs from him so far.”