Burnley strikers Paterson and Austin declare themselves fit for action

FIT AGAIN: Charlie Austin
FIT AGAIN: Charlie Austin

Eddie Howe hailed a “huge day” after strike duo Charlie Austin and Martin Paterson both declared themselves fit for action on Tuesday.

Paterson, playing only his second friendly game since suffering a recurrence of a thigh injury sustained on the opening day of the season, scored Burnley’s second goal in a 75 minute appearance in the 4-2 victory over Crewe at Gawthorpe.

Fellow striker Austin, who suffered a dislocated shoulder against Leeds just 18 days ago, also completed his miraculous recovery by completing the full 90 minutes.

And a delighted Howe insisted both players could now come into his thoughts for the weekend game against Portsmouth at Turf Moor.

The gaffer said: “Both players came through fine. Martin looked really sharp, scored a great goal and linked well with Charlie, so he is really knocking on the door now.

“Charlie had a couple of falls and he was his usual aggressive self, so it’s so far so good.

“His is one of those injuries that you just can’t protect in a game because natural instincts will take over, so we just hope that he stays fit and carries on as he has been.”

Asked if either could feature in the Portsmouth game, Howe added: “I think we will see how they feel tomorrow.

“In terms of match fitness Charlie is closer than Martin, just because he’s played the games, but Martin looked really sharp and I just think it’s a huge day for Burnley in terms of hopefully getting two strikers back to fitness.”

Burnley opened the scoring against Crewe through Joe Jackson and Paterson added a second before half time.

Defender Andre Amougou scored Burnley’s third either side of two goals for the visitors and Alex MacDonald sealed the victory with a stunning fourth late on.