Fletcher backs Howe to turn Clarets' form around
EX-CLARET Paul Fletcher has called for fans to show patience as Burnley look to recover from a disappointing start to the season.
A failure to follow up the opening day win over Bolton in the last three league games has left many supporters frustrated, and made for a tense atmosphere in the home defeat to Brighton before the international break.
But as Burnley prepare to resume Championship action with today’s visit of Peterborough, who have yet to pick up a point, Fletcher has urged Clarets fans to get behind Eddie Howe.
For he believes not only in the first team’s prospects as contenders at the top end of the table, but also in the manager’s focus on youth.
“I’m confident we’ve got the quality of players that is necessary and the quality of management and backroom staff that will help us have a strong season,” said Fletcher, who has served the club as both striker and chief execu-tive. “I think Eddie Howe is an excellent manager.
“Unlike other man-agers you never see Eddie around the club – he is always at Gawthorpe working on all aspects of the club, from the first team to the youth team.
“A lot of managers have no interest in youth development because they don’t think they will ever be there to see it come to fruition.
“But he is showing a real serious interest in that side of things.”
Fletcher accepts that is a long-term project.
He believes fans will see first team improvements soon.
“It gets tougher and tougher every season but I think by Christmas he will have turned it around. I hope fans give him that time,” he said.
Extracts from Fletcher’s soon-to-be published book ‘Magical: A Life in Football’ have revealed that current Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas applied for the vacant Turf Moor hotseat after Owen Coyle left in January 2010.
Villas-Boas went on to manage Chelsea, and at 34 is the youngest manager in the Premier League after taking charge of Spurs in the summer.
Fletcher sees Howe in a similar mould.
“He is a similar type of guy – a young, up and coming manager with a fresh approach to the job,” Fletcher said.
“From my experience of him he is a great manager. If he has one Achilles’ heel is that he is a lovely guy.
“He is a fantastic man and a real family man as well – they are the qualities I see in him.
“I hope he has some good fortune to push Burnley up the league.”