One step forward - and another back

STILL a case of one step forward and then a step back for Burnley following defeat at Donny on Tuesday.

But there are new signings on board, and they will take a game or two to bed in.

New striker Charlie Austin started the match at the Keepmoat, indicating that’s where Eddie Howe sees his place in the pecking order of things.

No doubt we will also soon get to run the rule over Marvin Bartley, whom Howe knows well of course, from Bournemouth.

The good news of the week came in the cup tie against Burton.

Not only did the Clarets progress to the fifth round, but it also saw a return to action for striker Martin Paterson.

Burnley have been without the option of Paterson for too long, and it has shown.

The Clarets have looked one-dimensional with just Chris Iwelumo up front. Steve Thompson has been a very adequate substitute for Big Chris, but ultimately play was in the same mould.

Perhaps the best news of the week came with the closing of the transfer window without loss, which means Burnley still have Chris Eagles in the ranks for a promotion push (realistically, that now means through the play-offs unless a remarkable string of results ensues).

Everton had rumoured to be interested, but at a price I would imagine the Burnley board would have laughed off given the player only signed a new contract at the end of last summer.

Next up is a real test of character, when the Clarets face Norwich at Turf Moor.

The Canaries have soared in the way we hoped to of late, and it won’t be an easy game.

Let’s hope Burnley can clip their wings, and it is Eagles who soars.

l A TRIBUTE dinner to Gary Parkinson, who is currently recovering from a serious stroke, is to take place at Turf Moor on Sunday, March 6.

Gary’s former clubs have collaborated on the dinner, sponsored by Fun88, which aims to raise funds to the former defender, who scored the Clarets’ winning goal in the 1993-94 division two play-off final, in his recovery and rehabilitation.

The former Clarets’ defender whose clubs also include Everton, Middlesbrough, Southend, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End and Blackpool was working as youth team coach at Blackpool when he suffered the stroke in September 2010.

This left the 43-year-old with “locked-in syndrome”, a condition of almost paralysis where the only means of communication is by eye movement.

However Gary remains fully aware of his surroundings and is showing very small signs of improvement, through rehabilitation and specialist care, reports the club.

Ticket prices for the dinner, MC Mick Docherty, are £30 per head or £300 for table of 10.

Entertainment will be provided by Paul Fletcher and Steve Kindon. To book contact Veronica Simpson, secretary of the Burnley FC Former Players’ Association on 07974310099, afternoons only on 01282 700001 or e-mail v.simpson@burnleyfc.com