Charlie back on song in Sparta victory
Sean Dyche insists Charlie Austin has put behind him the disappointment of seeing his Premier League dream dashed.
Striker Austin was back among the goals with a brace as Burnley ended their pre-season preparations with a resounding 4-1 victory over Sparta Rotterdam.
And the Clarets boss was delighted to see the Turf Moor favourite playing with a smile on his face again.
He said: “Charlie is a fantastic young man and someone you wish to work with.
“He has looked ever so fit and lean after coming back and he’s worked hard for us.
“A lot was going on a couple of weeks back and it has all calmed down and it’s refreshing just to see him running around and enjoying his football in a Burnley shirt. Long may that continue!”
Austin’s goals bookended a comfortable victory over the Dutch second division side, who took the lead in only the third minute through Johan Voskamp’s composed finish.
Austin replied immediately, before goals from Danny Ings and Dean Marney put the Clarets 3-1 up at the break.
And Austin rounded off pre-season in style with a fourth, before seeing what he thought was a hat-trick goal chalked off for offside.
Dyche, who admits he can’t now wait for the season to start following four successive pre-season wins, added: “The winning mentality is a drug and something that you strive for.
“I want to do that in the right fashion, by passing and playing, but whichever way you do it you have to win the game.
“I’ve been in teams that didn’t have good pre-season but had a good start to the season and vice-versa, but I know which one I prefer and that’s a good pre-season.
“We felt we wanted to be productive, with the aim of getting everyone to the start point.
“We’ve had a few casualties, but generally speaking the team has looked fit and well and the work they have done has shown up in the performances and the results.
“Wins build confidence and breed mentality and, of course, when the whistle blows for real next week that’s when we will be looking to perform.”