Eddie Howe looking forward to return of strike duo

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STRIKE pairing Jay Rodriguez and Charlie Austin have hit 15 goals between them in 12 games in all competitions.

And Clarets boss Eddie Howe is licking his lips at the prospect of Martin Paterson and Danny Ings returning from injury to add competition up front.

Paterson started the season in the side, only to be forced off at half-time with a thigh strain that is expected to keep him out until Christmas.

And Ings, in only his second training session after joining the club from Bournemouth in August, suffered cartilage damage, with his return date expected to be around the turn of the year.

In their absence, Austin and Rodriguz have taken on the responsibility of leading the line, and Howe is thrilled at how they have responded: “With Pato and Danny Ings we’ve got four really talented strikers there.

“I think they could all play with each other no matter who you pick.

“Charlie and Jay Rod are proving a good partnership but I think all of them can play with each other, so it really excites me if we get those two back together, who knows what we’re capable of.

“Charlie and Jay havee both got different qualities but they’re both mobile and I think that’s a real strength.

“They do complement each other quite well.

“Charlie will probably play on the shoulder and be in the box all the time and Jay Rod will probably be the one that drops that little bit deeper and influence play.

“It’s great to have that option.

“The thing that really pleased me against Nottingham Forest was the joy that Charlie showed in setting up Jay Rod, because he knew what the goal meant to him, and vice versa.

“Jay has done that for Charlie this season and you know a partnership works when they both want each other to do well.”

Austin arrived in January for £1.2m from Swindon Town, but saw his season end prematurely after only four appearances for his new club, following a shoulder injury.

However, he has hit the ground running once back to full fitness with seven goals so far this season, and Howe hopes Ings can have a similar impact after a rapid rise.

Ings, like Austin, came to prominence in non-league, enjoying a fruitful spell on loan from Bournemouth at Dorchester last year, and Howe said: “He’s got a fantastic attitude.

“He has had a dramatic rise when you consider just over a year ago he was at Dorchester and scoring a lot of goals for them in Conference South.

“Now he finds himself at a Championship club.

“I think he just can’t wait to get fit again and show everyone what a good player he is.

“Danny would have been the same as the other lads (Austin and Marvin Bartley) who needed a period to adjust and settle in and get to know the lads.

“He’s doing it in a different way in the treatment room, but the lads like him and he’s been really popular around the place already, and I’m just keen for everybody to see what a talented player he is.

“He really is one for the future.”