Patience Required as Clarets Seek The Balance
Eddie Howe has appealed for patience as he continues to seek the right balance for his players.
The Clarets boss is adamant he will continue to preach the possession game that has reaped full dividends with three sweeping moves for Charlie Austin goals in the last two home games.
And Howe hopes the return of captain and defensive lynchpin Jason Shackell will add the necessary steel to keep out the opposition and extend the three game unbeaten league run at Crystal Palace this weekend.
The gaffer said: “We have good defenders and I don’t think it will be long before we return to looking really solid.
“I don’t feel we are far away and Jason will make a difference to that.
“We have missed him in the last two games and with him in the side we are tighter.
We’ll have to see how he is this weekend and he will be close, but if he’s not fit he will definitely be back for Blackpool.”
Howe, whose side have conceded 18 goals in their nine league games this season, have matched that with 18 scored – including Charlie Austin’s stunning start to the season.
And the Clarets boss knows his side need to tighten up, while maintaining the supply line to the strikers.
He added: “We have recognised we haven’t been good enough defensively this year, as a whole, but we feel we are not far away as a team.
“There were some really positive spells in Tuesday’s game again and in the first half some of our play was excellent.
“I don’t think there is a great deal wrong and it’s certainly not crisis time defensively.
“Yes, we had poor second halves against Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday, but in the whole I think we have defended ok this year.
“Set plays were our big problem and we seem to have rectified that. It’s just tweaks because if we had won 3-2 everyone would have been saying what a great performance it was.
Charlie Austin rounds off a great team goal
“For the two goals there were 15 passes in each and both started from the goalkeeper, all the way through the pitch, which is something we work on every day.
“We certainly have a team that cares and wants to do well and when you have that you know you have a chance.
“We are three unbeaten and we have to remember that.
“The last two draws may have felt like defeats, but they are points on the board and we were looking for a consistent run of unbeaten games, so hopefully we can extended that at Palace.
“They have had two fantastic away wins and it goes to show how difficult and unpredictable this league is.
“They have fantastic pace, especially out wide and Selhurst Park is a difficult place to go.
“But we are confident we can go there on the back of the Derby game and two games unbeaten at home in confident mood.”
Howe added that a late decision will be made on the fitness of Chris McCann, who was substituted in midweek with a tendonitis in his knee.