Clarets can say: Charlie Who?
BURNLEY proved there is life after star striker Charlie Austin as Clarets manager Sean Dyche declared his side’s point against Bolton a job well done.
Austin scored 28 goals in 40 games for Burnley last season but this week put pen-to-paper on a deal to big-spending QPR, breaking the hearts of the Turf Moor faithful in the process.
But Danny Ings showed a goal threat does still exist, opening the scoring for the home side midway through the first half, gettting the better of David Wheater after a Sam Vokes flick before guiding the ball past Adam Bogdan with the help of a Wheater deflection.
Bolton hit back nine minutes later, Darren Pratley steering the ball home from close range after a neat Chris Eagles cutback.
But, despite seeing his side enjoy plenty of possession without creating much in the final third, Dyche said: “I was pleased with our perform- ance, I thought it was a continuation of our good form in pre-season.
“There was good energy to it, a nice solid look to it but also some real quality at times.
“We nearly scored again and that can happen at times. We’re playing against a big club in terms of financial sense in this division and they will be well-fancied.
“I always want to win but the second thing you take is a good performance.
“It’s definitely Danny’s goal and everyone knows that he has been very sharp pre-season.
“They looked really fit and there were good signs. It (the departure of Charlie Austin) has been done, it’s gone and we move on.
“It bodes well for how we think the group is developing. It’s one game and we’ve got so much still to do.”
Despite a high-tempo start neither side was able to capitalise on spells of possession, Kieran Trippier’s long range effort – claimed comfortably by Bogdan – the closest the home side came in the opening exchanges.
Ings’ opener followed a spell of pressure from the Clarets but it wasn’t all one-way traffic and the visitors reacted positively to going behind with Eagles and the busy Chung-Yong Lee continuing to find pockets of space.
The equaliser, following a wellworked move orchestrated by Pratley, took the sting out of the game and the tempo never really reached the heights of the opening 20 minutes after that.
After the break, substitute Craig Davies went closer than anyone, forcing Burnley stopper Tom Heaton into a flying save 11 minutes from time.
Neither side were able to build on that although Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman felt his side could have snatched it with a better final ball. He said: “I thought it was a good game. We did well to come back from a little setback which is going to happen so that was pleasing from a coaches point of view.
“We didn’t panic and our approach play for 25 minutes in the first half was good.
“I thought our final ball could have been better but that will come, especially when you have players like David Ngog, Craig Davies and Jermaine Beckford in your side that will definitely come. I thought it was a fair result. We didn’t really do enough to win it but that’s how it goes.”
LEVELLER: Darren Pratley scores Bolton’s qualiser
his strike HERO: Pratley celebrates