Eddie Howe happy to have an English pre-season

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe
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CLARETS boss Eddie Howe is happy to have the home comforts of an English pre-season.

Over the last decade or so, the club have been away to Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Austria, Italy, America, Scotland and Singapore.

But although Howe had the option to take his players abroad this summer, either to mainland Europe or back to Singapore, the South West of England is the furthest they will travel.

Burnley, after taking on Altrincham and Bury, will travel to face Bristol Rovers on Tuesday, July 19th, before an expected trip to Torquay United the following Saturday - which would be the first meeting between the sides in 20 years since the Fourth Division play-off semi-final.

Howe explained his plans: “First and foremost we didn’t want a big expensive tour.

“We want any money to be re-invested into the facilities and into the team.

“That was a big consideration, but more importantly for us was the football consideration.

“I don’t think travelling thousands of miles does the players any good.

“You can travel a long way and it takes two or three days to recover and pre-season is short enough as it is.

“We took the decision we wanted to stay in England, play a couple of games and get the players away and together for a period of time.

“We think that’s really important and we just wanted to get the distance down and really concentrate on quality training sessions, with some good games as well.

“I think we can get exactly what we need here.

“The positive side of going away is generating your team spirit with a new group of players.

“It doesn’t matter where you go to do that.

“You can do that with a short tour and I think it will have big benefits for us.”

Long-haul tours can be a drain on players, and limit time to work on the training ground, and Howe added: “It’s a big part of our philosophy getting the lads as fit and as strong as they can be.

“It’s difficult when you come half way through a season because you can’t work them as much as you like, so pre-season is going to be important.

“I’m really pleased with the pre-season schedule.

“It looks good. There is a gradual build up in quality, ending with a really good game against Sunderland which will be a really good test before the season starts.

“It gives the fans the chance to come and watch us as well locally and if they want to travel so hopefully they will enjoy it.”

The Clarets will host Premier League side Sunderland at Turf Moor on Saturday, July 30th (kick-off 3pm), the final game of pre-season before the Championship kicks-off the week after.

Admission prices and ticket details for the Sunderland game and further pre-season fixtures will be announced at a later date.

Burnley’s schedule so far is: Altrincham (A) Saturday, July 9th (3 p.m.); Bury (A) Tuesday, July 12th (7-45 p.m.); Bristol Rovers (A), Tuesday, July 19th (kick-off 7-45 p.m.); Saturday, July 23rd TBA; Oldham Athletic (A), Tuesday, July 26th (kick-off 7-45 p.m.); Sunderland (H), Saturday, July 30th (3 p.m.).