Shaun gives youth a chance at the back

A win and a draw, and all’s well with the world once more, even if Tuesday night was nothing much to write home about.

Last week I wrote about Burnley’s lack of goals and while they are still not flowing in by the hatful, what a pleasure it is to see Charlie Austin get on the scoresheet at Charlton and then on Tuesday night at home against Barnsley.

There had been some pub discussion about Shaun Dyche’s striker selections in the light of goals becoming thin on the pitch, so to speak.

This was based around Burnley’s good run of New Year and January form when Sam Vokes led the line and the Clarets pulled off a string of results which for a while at least raised hopes that Burnley were in for a strong play-off shout.

The manager knows he has a prize asset in Austin, and strong alternatives in Vokes and Martin Paterson, who by all accounts at Charlton had his best game since his scintillating performance against Bolton on the season’s opening day.

Dyche will enjoy having options, but having come in mid-season needs to find exactly what his best combinations are in terms of effectiveness with the style in which he wants his side to play.

With a multitude of midfield options into the bargain, recent injuries have not posed many problems in terms of replacements.

When he arrived, one thing Dyche knew he had to do was tighten Burnley up at the back, and there’s no doubt he has achieved this.

Giving young defender Kevin Long looks to be a shrewd move. On the few occasions I have seen Long he has impresed me and at Charlton he stood up to a great deal of pressure and bullying in the box as Athletic pushed for a leveller. Continued progress is great news.