Sean Dyche insisted he would have no hesitation in throwing new signing Chris Long into the heat of Championship battle.
The former Everton striker joined the Clarets on Tuesday after penning an initial three-year deal, but did not feature in Tuesday's friendly win at Fleetwood.
And although Dyche insisted the England youth international was one for the future, he threw down the gauntlet to his newest recruit.
The Clarets boss said: “We’ve got the four strikers back fit and there will be more minutes for the lads who have just come back on Thursday in a game.
“But it’s a process and we’ve added to that with Chris. He is a young lad, but someone with a bit of pedigree and I like that because they will always have that through their careers.
“He is very young, but he’s someone who we feel can develop with us. He has had touches of experience out on loan and we think he is one to push now, but also one for the future, so there’s a healthy mix.”
Dyche added: “Now we have this money, it’s not just about the first team. Of course, that’s very relevant and we’re in the market for that, but we have to bring that underlying level where players challenge.
Dyche with Graham Alexander at Fleetwood on Tuesday
“At Fleetwood we had Cameron Dummigan, Tom Anderson and Bradley Jackson getting a touch. But we want to support that group and take it forward so we have players of players coming through for the future.
“We think Chris is a big part of that, but I must make it clear, he is there to challenge. He has to get some fitness work under his belt, but if he can get up and running very quickly, then I’ll play him!”