BURNLEY manager Eddie Howe has welcomed the Football League’s decision to revert back to a seven-man substitutes’ bench, starting next season.

The Clarets boss was disappointed to have his matchday squad options reduced last term following a proposal put forward at the Football League chairmen’s conference that was held ahead of the 2011/12 campaign.

It was a vote backed by Burnley director Clive Holt in the hope that it would save on costs, particularly for travel and accommodation for away trips.

However, it not only made little difference to finances but impacted on the development of fringe players at football clubs at all levels, and 12 months on the decision has been reversed.

“From my point of view as a manager, the more choice you have the better, but the more important issue was keeping everyone involved,” said Howe.

“We only carried a small squad anyway, but you want to keep as many players involved around the team on matchdays as you can.

“The key issue now is that we will be able to give more exposure to players by having them on the bench and having the option to bring them on.

“The more you can push players on and given them experience of a first team environment the better for them and the teams.

“It’s a sensible decision.

“To have it suddenly sprung upon us like it was last summer, when squads were already in place, you ended up disappointing three or four players each game.”

Howe feels a replenished bench will also benefit clubs as they look to fall in line with the Financial Fairplay regulations.

“It encourages managers to promote young players and give them exposure and as a football club that’s what we are about going forward,” added the Burnley boss.

“It makes the process a lot easier.”