Burnley boss wants youth to come to the fore

SURGING FORWARD: Michael Duff gets away from Michael Chopra at Portman Road on Wednesday night
SURGING FORWARD: Michael Duff gets away from Michael Chopra at Portman Road on Wednesday night

IT is time for Burnley’s young side to come of age, according to boss Eddie Howe.

The Clarets are without a win in seven games, ahead of tomorrow’s visit of promotion chasers West Ham.

But they have shown on occasion this season – such as the win at Upton Park in December – that they are a force to be reckoned with.

With the play-off chase realistically out of reach, Howe wants to see more performances like the one in East London.

He said: “There comes a time when we have to grow up and be consistent and look like we are improving.

“Wednesday night at Ipswich was a backward step and you do get them along the way, but we have to make sure this is just a blip.

“In some respects now, we have to take each game on its merits, but maybe tinker and try things to win a different way.

“We’re on a bad run and we’ve lost ground on the teams above us.

“For whatever reason it has all slipped away from us, but I believe in the players we have and I know we can do much, much better.

“Suddenly we have stopped scoring goals at a bad time of the season and we need to get that back.

“We have some great front players and we have just stopped giving them the supply.

“We need to ask more questions of the opposition and hopefully get back to the way we were.”

He was hugely disappointed with the 1-0 reverse at Ipswich, after a bright start.

Howe said: “I thought we were well in the game in the first half, and I felt quite confident in the second half that we could cause them more problems, but the second half was really disappointing.

“We didn’t get going, and looked like we lacked our usual spark and zip.

“We just looked totally flat and Ipswich deservedly won the game. We were well below-par in the second half.

“It’s hugely frustrating because I felt we could go on and win the game at half-time.

“In the last 15 minutes when we were chasing the game, you thought ‘come on, let’s have a right go and try to get a goal’, but it just didn’t happen – and I don’t know why.

“We’ve played a lot of games with a small squad but we’re better than that. We’ve been better than that all season.

“It’s quite rare for us to be that poor second half.

“And it’s hugely frustrating because this run’s just come at a really bad time for us when we were knocking on the play-offs, and now that’s just slipped away.”