Howe looks for performances to boost flagging crowds at Burnley
EDDIE Howe has targeted six points from a Turf Moor double header as Burnley bid to boost flagging attendances.
The Clarets host Millwall this afternoon two weeks after the previous home game against Peterborough was watched by a crowd of only 10,979 – their lowest gate for a league game for four years.
Only Barnsley, Millwall and Peterborough have had lower attendances in the Championship so far this season and Howe has stressed the importance of delivering results at Turf Moor to increase crowds, with gate revenue playing a key part in the Clarets’ player budget.
Burnley also entertain Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday and Howe is eager to build on two wins from three games at home this season, as he also attempts to lift the Clarets from 16th in the Championship table.
“I’d love to see bigger crowds coming in but I understand we’ve got to play our part in that,” said the Clarets boss. “We’ve got to try to win games, we’ve got to entertain and try to score goals.
“We’re trying to build some momentum to get us higher up the league so people are attracted to come again and watch. I think we play a really important part in that.
“It all goes hand in hand, you need bigger crowds for bigger revenue to spend more on player wages to get a better team.
“It’s a pretty simple cycle really.
“It benefits everybody if you can get the crowds in but you can’t drag people to the ground, all we can do is to do our bit and hopefully the fans will come back.
“I’d say six points is a realistic target from these two home games, but we can set all the targets we want in our own mind – it’s about going out and playing, and getting those points.
“Certainly we’ve got an idea of what we want, we always set our bar very high and hopefully we can match it.”
Burnley defeated Peterborough 5-2 a fortnight ago and also claimed a home victory over Bolton on the opening day, although in between those two games Brighton claimed all three points at Turf Moor – when only 11,413 were in attendances.
The Clarets had more success away from home last season, winning only seven of their 23 games at Turf Moor, but Howe thinks it is hard to say whether that record has had a knock-on effect on attendances this season.
“I’m not sure on that,” he said.
“I think there were some entertaining games at home last year.
“There some disappointing ones as well for sure, but you know you’re not going to perform to your best in every game.
“Sure, our home form last year was disappointing and we were well aware that we needed to improve it.
“Hopefully we can do that this season and in terms of getting crowds back I think momentum will definitely do that.
“We’ll try to entertain, we’ll try to score goals and bring the type of football that people want to see and will pay to see.
“I think the Championship this year is as good as at any time that I’ve known it with the teams that have come in. Throughout the league the football all the teams are trying to play has been excellent, so I think it’s a great division to watch.
“I think the standard of football is very high, it’s almost like a second Premier League now. So hopefully people can see that and want to come.”