Clarets boss Howe keen on cup run
EDDIE Howe insists his Clarets will be up for the cup, and ready to bounce back from an early season setback.
Burnley boasted one of the best away records in the Championship last term but have yet to get off the mark on their league travels after two attempts so far.
Defeats at Middlesbrough and Huddersfield condemned Burnley to back-to-back losses for the first time since March.
After celebrating an opening day win over Bolton Wanderers, Howe is looking to restore order through their Capital One Cup second round game at home to Plymouth Argyle tonight (kick-off 7.45pm).
But while Burnley are favourites to progress against League Two opposition, the 34-year-old has warned against taking the tie for granted.
“You’ve got to be so careful. Plymouth are no mugs,” said Howe, whose friend and former Bournemouth team-mate, Carl Fletcher, will occupy the visiting dugout.
“I know Carl very well and I’m sure he’ll be determined to win the game, so we’ve got to make sure first of all we win the match, but I still think we can do that.
“It’s an important game for us back on home soil and hopefully we can be positive at home and carry on from where we left off against Bolton.”
Burnley could make changes to the line-up tonight with Howe looking to give more match-time to a number of players, particularly Keith Treacy and Marvin Bartley following injury.
Midfielder Bartley was sidelined all summer by a stress fracture of his ankle, while Treacy suffered a groin problem in the penultimate week of pre-season training and missed the start of the season.
Both could start tonight, along with latest signing Brian Stock, who was short of match fitness when he arrived from Doncaster Rovers.
However, Howe insists his squad will not be weakened by any changes.
“When you look at our bench a lot of those players were regular starters for us last year, a few have picked up injuries and are returning to fitness so it will be good to give them some match time,” he said.
“We’ve always got players who aren’t playing who want to play, and there are a few who definitely need a game – returning from injury etc – so it’s a good opportunity for us to put in a performance while rotating the squad.
“I think it’s important we do that. You can’t expect the same players to play 50 games a season. I think we suffered with that last year and hopefully we can mix things up a little bit but still be strong.”
Howe added: “Brighton haven’t got a game before we play them at the weekend so we’ve got to make sure we take care of business but we also have half an eye on Saturday as well, which is so important to us.”