Eddie Howe is under no pressure to sell Burnley FC stars

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DESPITE reports to the contrary, Clarets boss Eddie Howe is under no pressure to sell players to bring them in.

Weekend speculation suggested Howe may have to offload top-scorer Chris Iwelumo to finance a move for Swindon Town striker Charlie Austin, while Ross Wallace has been linked with an exit from Turf Moor after making only 14 starts since his summer move from Preston.

But Howe is still learning about his new charges, and has not taken any decisions as of yet, with the transfer window set to close in under a week’s time - only for the Football League’s emergency loan window to open the following week.

Howe said: “There’s nothing definite to report, in terms of players going out, I’d be reluctant to lose anybody.

“As regards players coming in, there’s no immediate news.”

Asked whether the chairman had said he had to move players out to bring them in, he said: “No, he hasn’t, there have been various discussions, but I’d be reluctant to lose anybody.

“I think it’s too early to make assessments on anyone, so we’d like to keep the squad intact, but I’m realistic enough to know there may have to be a balancing act.”

He expects the usual plethora of deadline days transfers, however: “It’s usually the way that deals get done last minute, everyone rushes to do deals in the last hour, for some reason.

“So I’m sure we’ll be seeing what’s available.”

Meanwhile, Howe returns to former club Portsmouth tonight looking for his first win as Burnley boss, following the 0-0 draw at Scunthorpe on Saturday.

Clarke Carlisle (knee) and Steven Thompson (groin) are doubts, but Howe said: “Clarke’s improved, although whether or not he’s improved enough to play, we’ll have to have a look.

“Thommo should be okay, but he’s seeing a speciaist later in the week.

“We’ll have a look at it and see how the lads are in training, it was a tough game physically on Saturday, with the pitch being draining on the legs, so we’ll see who’s 100% and look at team selection from there.”

Howe was Harry Redknapp’s first signing for Portsmouth, but he would make only two appearances as he was dogged with a knee injury, but he is looking forward to a return to Fratton Park: “It’s another game, another away game, and another difficult game.

“It’s one of my old clubs. and it’s strange how these things crop up.

“Going back to Fratton Park will be a good experience. I didn’t play many games there, but spent a lot of time there, so it will be good.

“It was a frustrating time for me really, more than anything, I spent a lot of time in the treatment room trying to get fit, I had several operations trying to find the problem with my knee.

“But it’s a good club with good supporters, and it’s always a difficult place to go.

“They usually have a good home record, and it’s tough to get results there.”

One of his predecessors, Steve Cotterill, faces Burnley for the first time since leaving in November 2007, and Howe, a former teammate of Cotterill at Bournemouth, said: “Steve was just coming to the end of his career as I was breaking into the team, and he’s been a frequent visitor back to Dean Court watching games while he was out of work.

“I know how keen he was to get back into management. He did well at Notts County and now at Portsmouth.

“We had a good battle last season, a good tussle, and he led them to the title, and now he’s moved on to Portsmouth.

“There’s a lot of links with the game, which will make it very interesting from everyone’s perspective.

“He’ll know all about our squad, and I’m sure we’ll both be desperate for the three points.”