Burnley striker Pato’s goal target

UNLUCKY: Martin Paterson scores but is ruled off-side at Charlton
UNLUCKY: Martin Paterson scores but is ruled off-side at Charlton
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BACK in his favoured central role, striker Martin Paterson is hoping to end the season on a high by hitting double figures.

After top-scorer Charlie Austin, with 26 goals before last night’s meeting with Hull, you have to go back to Paterson, with five, as the next in line.

The 25-year-old has been disappointed with his return so far, having enjoyed his most injury-free campaign since scoring 19 goals as the Clarets were promoted to the Premier League in 2009.

He had made 24 starts before last night, most of which came out wide, with Austin primarily preferred as a lone, central forward.

And he admits: “I’m not happy with my goal tally at all, but there are no excuses.

“No matter where you play you can still score goals, so it would be an excuse to say it’s because I’ve been playing out wide.

“I’ve been unlucky this year – there have been some good saves against me, some bad misses – we’ve got 10 games left and I’m looking to put my goal tally right in those 10 games, if I play.

“I’m not happy with it but I’m looking to change it every day.

“I’d take double figures.”

Paterson is due a bit of luck, having had a perfectly-good goal ruled out for off-side in the 1-0 win at Charlton a week on Saturday, and he smiled: “It was onside,” he said.

“I’m completely level.

“But there’s nothing you can do.

“I think there’s a couple more goals in me until the end of the season.

“At the moment I’d be happy with double figures.”

And Paterson feels his bid for goals will only be helped by partnering Austin, stretching defences in behind with his pace and movement: “I love playing up front.

“That’s my position. I’ve said all the time I’m a centre forward.

“When I’ll be judged is up front and running in behind defences and getting after centre halves.

“That’s what I do very well.

“I haven’t had a full season up front, whereas other seasons I have.

“I think it would be unfair to say ‘he’s only scored five this year’ but you’ve got to look at times the work I’ve done going the other way on the flanks.

“I don’t want to use it as an excuse because it’s not in my nature.

“If the team required me and if the manager requires me to play out wide to do jobs for the team I never ever refuse, I always work hard.”

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