Clarets Corner with John Greenwood: Relief as “proper” action starts for Burnley

A good set of pre-season results and performances has eased the jittery feeling Burnley supporters had until mid-July.

Pre-season form isn’t always indicative of where the team really stand in the divisional pecking order - far from it - but it’s still the only thing we’ve got to go on.

With four goalkeepers - Tom Heaton is favourite to start - forming the bulk of the Clarets’ summer signings, and Charlie Austin about to go to Hull, many supporters were thinking the squad was looking a bit threadbare following the departures of long-time favourites Chris McCann and Martin Paterson.

But then promoted Hull pulled out of the Austin deal, citing a knee injury, throwing club and player alike into turmoil. He will have to decide whether to sign the contract extension offered by Burnley.

Thank goodness then to get to some football, and if Austin started slowly after the shock, a brace of goals against Sparta Rotterdam in last Saturday’s 4-1 win show he might be getting back into the groove.

Already in it, and the club’s ready replacement for Austin if he had gone, is Danny Ings. A goal against Cork, two at Carlisle, another against Tranmere and one more against the Dutch visitors must give him claim to a starting place against Bolton at Turf Moor on Saturday (12.15pm kick off).

The other striking option, Sam Vokes, netted in Cork and three midfielders - one of the two outfield signings Scott Arfield plus Ross Wallace, Junior Stanislas and Dean Marney - have also scored.

Lack of goals from midfield has been a problem and the hope is that this demonstrates work done in that quarter.

The consensus among Burnley fans is that they would like to see David Jones (formerly with Manchester United and Blackburn Rovers, among others), join the ranks permanently.

Manager Sean Dyche has also signed another striker, giving a one-year deal to Ryan Noble from Sunderland.

The last Sunderland-born striker of that surname to sign for Burnley was Peter Noble, one of Jimmy Adamson’s most astute signings 40 years ago.

Season 1973-74 was the Clarets’ first back in the top flight after two seasons out and was the high-water mark of Adamson’s reign.

Following an informal launch at Turf Moor today, the next couple of weeks should see Todmorden-born author Dave Thomas’s latest book published.

‘Jimmy Adamson: The Man Who Said No To England’ promises to be one of the most revealing in his series.

Jimmy was skipper of the top flight title-winning side of 1960, the man who led the Clarets out at Wembley in the 1962 FA Cup Final and then set about forging his team of the 70s.

I don’t know much about what made him tick but if Dave’s previous books are anything to go by, I suspect I’ll be a lot wiser after reading it.

UPDATE: JOnes has signed a deal - but Charlie’s off to QPR