EDDIE Howe believes a fully fit Martin Paterson will bring the best out of his young strikers.

Charlie Austin and top scorer Jay Rodriguez have already hit 17 goals between them this season.

But Burnley boss Howe reckons they can take their game to another level once poacher Paterson has overcome his latest injury setback and is breathing down their necks.

“When you know you’ve got quality players behind you it gives you an extra push,” said the 33-year-old.

“Not that I feel the two lads have needed it because they’ve worked extremely hard together and will continue to get better.

“But it would be great to have that option available to us.

“Pato’s been chomping at the bit, he’s done everything right. He’s worked extremely hard and you can see in his face how desperate he is to get out there with the lads.

“He’s a good character to have in the changing room as well, he’s a winner – you can see that with everything he does. He would be great to add to our squad.”

Paterson suffered a torn thigh – an injury that dogged him for most of last season – in the opening game against Watford and was initially ruled out for around three months.

That early assessment was lengthened after the 24-year-old underwent revolutionary treat-ment, whereby his own blood was injected into the tear in a procedure called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to strengthen the healing process.

“He’s a real grafter, you can see that with the way he plays,” Howe continued. “He sets the tone really in terms of his closing down and work-rate and also he's got quality as well. He's been a big loss to us but hopefully he'll come back at a good time.”

The Burnley boss is also looking forward to seeing summer signing Danny Ings push for a place, after the 19-year-old striker suffered a knee cartilage tear in only his second training session after signing from Bournemouth.

And although he is blessed with attacking options, with the likes of winger Ross Wallace adding to their armoury with four goals in their last four games, the Howe is confident he can accommodate all of his front men to keep them happy.

“To get Pato and Danny Ings back would be huge for us.

"Pato's proven at this level and experienced and would make a big difference to our squad, as would Danny Ings.

"I can't wait to get them both fit,” he said.

“It would give us a lot more options and enable us to mix things up when we feel we need to.

“You can't have enough good players around you. It would definitely add to the squad and we'd have no problem keeping everyone involved.”