Tough spell for Eddie as resources are tested

Pic by Avril Husband'npower Championship Derby County v Burnley Pride Park 27-08-2011'Eddie Howe
Pic by Avril Husband'npower Championship Derby County v Burnley Pride Park 27-08-2011'Eddie Howe
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BURNLEY kickstart a run of seven games in three weeks tomorrow at home to Reading.

But boss Eddie Howe - despite his lack of resources - is excited by the challenge.

Before the next international break, the Clarets will face Reading, before trips to Barnsley, Coventry and Cardiff, before returninng home to face Blackpool and Leicester, and rounding off a hectic period at Bristol City.

It could be one of the most testing times of the season, sibly one of the hardest times of the season, and Howe admitted; “Potentially it will be. We’ve got three away games in a row in that spell so it’s never ideal. But we’re looking forward to it.

“We’re on a good run so we’re looking forward to the games coming up.

“We’ve done well in our last two games, so after the two-week break, let’s hope we come out firing and there’s no ill effect and we’re not sluggish in any way.

“I don’t see why we should be, the lads have trained well and we’re looking forward to the game and the run of fixtures.

“Over the next three weeks we’ve got Saturday-Tuesday games so it’s going to be a tough spell for us.”

But Burnley go into the run of games in high spirits after successive wins, and Howe has spoken of late of the spirit at the club being the best since he arrived in January: “The spirit within the lads themselves has never been a problem.

“We’re improving all the time and feel we’re getting that winning mentality slowly but surely.

“Confidence and getting used to winning games is a fantastic thing for any footballer, and hopefully we’re beginning to get that feeling as well.

“You get that belief that when you go into any game you can win it.

“Anyone who’s been a footballer long enough has had both feelings, when you’re on a bad run and a good run.

“Confidence is key in football and hopefully we can keep that going.”

Keeping that frame of mind going after a two-week break is tricky, and Howe said: “It’s been difficult because even a couple of players being away can disrupt your plans. We’ve had a couple of players who have also had injuries and we’ve rested them to try to make sure they’re fit.

“At times we’ve had really small numbers in training so we’ve had to call the youth team in a couple of times to try and make the numbers up and give us a number good enough to work with.

“So, in terms of doing anything outside of training, we haven’t, but the lads have worked hard and hopefully will be feeling good.”

The fans are starting to get that feel-good factor as well, and he added: “The fans against Southampton, from the outset, stuck with us and really got behind the players. We created a great atmosphere. On the back of that, against Forest, the supporters were magnificent again.

“The fans that went to Millwall created a lot of noise as well, so they’ve been great, and if we get that from the outset again, we’ll make it difficult for Reading.”