BURNLEY boss Eddie Howe believes the forthcoming international break will be instrumental in shaping the remainder of his side’s season.
The Clarets have failed to bridge the gap on the play-off quartet, accumulating a solitary point in games against Millwall, Coventry City and Bristol City of late.
However, they remain in the hunt of a top six finish, courtesy of Nottingham Forest, Cardiff and Swansea City’s Championship frailities.
The trio boast just one victory between them in each of their last four games, though a resurrgent Reading outfit, with three consecutive league victories, and Watford, totalling six points from nine, have re-applied the pressure and feature prominently in the chasing pack.
“We can’t do anything about the other results,” Howe said. “I’m not really interested in them, I’m interested in us and I’m disappointed, but we look to bounce back. Anything’s possible. It can change so quickly. We’re making it very difficult for ourselves. We said when we came in, it’s going to be difficult because we were playing catch-up and we still are.
“We would have liked more from the last few games, but we’ve got to make sure now that we focus on the games to come.”
Howe will now hope to use the enforced break to reflect on the Clarets’ recent form, both in terms of points and performance.
The Clarets boss also insists that the two-week window, which sees England face Wales in a Euro 2010 Group G fixture on Saturday, will give his squad the chance to get their heads down on the training ground.
He said: “It gives us a chance to get the players on the training ground. We haven’t had that opportunity since we’ve been here because we’ve had so many games.
“April’s a really hectic month, but these next two weeks we’ve got a chance to bed a few things down.
“I don’t think anything changes, we will work the players very hard next week. They’ll also get a period of time where they can rest.
“We’ve had a lot of games, and we’ve still got a lot of games to come in a short period of time next month. We’ve got to make sure they’re best prepared and in the best physical shape for the games to come.”
Danny Fox’s early yellow card for a tug on Bristol City’s Albert Adomah in the weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Ashton Gate was the full-back’s 10th of the season, forcing him out of the Clarets’ games against Ipswich Town and Leicester City through suspension.
Now, with the Clarets’ dwindling numbers, Howe could find the time to sit down and evaluate the loan market in a bid to bolster his squad before the window’s imminent closure.
“We’re always on the look,” Howe said. “We lose Danny Fox now for two games due to suspension, so there’s going to be a chance for someone.
“We are a bit thin on the ground for bodies, so that’s something we’ll talk about.”
He added: “It’s a disappointing run we’re on at the minute. I don’t really know why it’s changed, but we need to get back to work on the training pitch.
“We’ve got a two-week break, a good chance to put it right, and we’ll look forward to the run-in.”