Burnley chairmen keen to keep Austin
BURNLEY’S joint chairmen have insisted they have no plans to sell star striker Charlie Austin, and believe the Clarets may have attracted more interest for their managerial vacancy than rivals Blackburn Rovers.
New Clarets boss Sean Dyche was yesterday presented to the media for the first time yesterday after fending off a host of other contenders for the chance to succeed the departed Eddie Howe at Turf Moor.
Co-chairmen Mike Garlick and John Banaszkiewicz spoke highly of Dyche and confirmed they wanted to keep hold of leading scorer Austin.
The striker has scored a stunning 18 goals in 15 games so far this season to leave Burnley fans fearing that richer clubs will tempt him away from Turf Moor in January.
But, although the club are unable to rule out a transfer if they receive an offer they cannot refuse, Garlick said: “We’ve got no plans to sell him.”
Banaszkiewicz added: “We will do our best to keep him. Obviously that’s the key to our team right now.”
Meanwhile Garlick and Banaszkiewicz conducted a host of interviews with candidates for the club’s managerial vacancy, at a time when Blackburn were also searching for a boss.
“There was a lot of interest in the job, probably more interest in it than our rivals because people saw us as a good solid club with a good ownership structure,” said Garlick.
“People like myself and John, local lads rather than foreign owned.”
Dyche’s home is in Northampton but the chairmen believe that will be less of an issue than it was for Howe, who left to be nearer to his family in Bournemouth.
“Sean does live in the Midlands and I live in Hertfordshire so we’re actually quite close as well so it’s easy to meet up if we need to rather than flying to India,” said Garlick.
“I think Sean was one of the first candidates we met.
“We had a round of first interviews which went on for about a week and a half and he always stuck in our mind. He made a hell of an impression.”
Banaszkiewicz said: “He certainly had us on the edge of our seats when we first met him.
“He commanded our attention and he did stand out as a really disciplined, confident, motivating guy who can get the best out of players.
“That is what we really wanted.”