Eddie Howe confident of Capital One Cup progress

CONFIDENT: Eddie Howe

CONFIDENT: Eddie Howe

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CLARETS boss Eddie Howe is confident injuries will not prevent his “small squad” from progressing in the Capital One Cup.

Burnley travel to Swindon on Tuesday for a round three clash against a League One team who have only lost once at the County Ground so far this season.

31.07.12 - Bath City v Burnley - Preseason Friendly -'Ben Mee of Burnley.'� Huw Evans Picture Agency

31.07.12 - Bath City v Burnley - Preseason Friendly -'Ben Mee of Burnley.'� Huw Evans Picture Agency

Despite injuries taking their toll on the Clarets squad Howe believes there is still enoough quaility in depth to mount a challenge on all fronts.

“It’s a difficult one for us because we’ve got such a small squad, we have a lot of players struggling with niggles and knocks, but we want to try and progress in the competition.

“We need to find a balance and pick a team we feel is good enough to beat Swindon on their own turf.

“It will be a difficult game, but we’ll also have half an eye on Saturday to make sure physically we can get ourselves going for another game.

“It’s one of the toughest draws we could have got, they play good football and have started the season well, but I’m confident we can beat them if we perform.”

Junior Stanislas didn’t reappear for the second half againt Derby after picking up a knock but Howe is hopeful the wide-man will not be sidelined for too long a period.

“Junior had two very tight hamstrings, whether he’s tweaked one we’re not sure yet.

“He had to come off and that was a shame as he was lively. He’s been good for us this season.

“Hopefully we’ve caught it in time before he’s done too much damage.

“Duffo wasn’t far away, so I’m sure he’ll be in contention in the next couple of weeks.

One player who will definitely be looking to feature against Swindon is Ben Mee, who made his first league start of the season away at Derby at the weekend.

The 23-year-old defender was instrumental in helping set up Charlie Austin’s equaliser and said the team was happy to grind out the result.

“It was a great result. We ground it out, we were under the cosh a little bit and then Charlie came up with a great header.

“I put Charlie through for the first, and I was a bit tired towards the end but I managed to get forward and Chris put in a great ball and Chas did the rest like he always does. Anything in the air at the back post, he’ll get on the end of.

“We like to keep things tight as well, we wanted a clean sheet which didn’t happen, we conceded an early goal and we were a bit disappointed with that.

“But we came back and showed a bit of character, which is always good, and we got our first away win of the season.

“Obviously we had my chance as well when I hit the bar, but they played well in the first half. We didn’t come out very well in the first 20 minutes.

We got into the game towards the end of the half. But second half we just had to dig deep and it was a classic away performance, defending and then on the counter attack. It turned out quite well.”

Mee admits he has been left frustrated by a lack of first team opportunities so far this term but he is now hoping to nail down a regular spot in the starting XI.

“I was a bit frustrated, I’m not going to lie but I just wanted my chance and hopefully I can stay in the team now and keep performing like I did today and have a good run in the side, it’s good competition for the lads.

“I think the gaffer was pleased with me. I want to have a good run in the side and hopefully do well.”

One name definitely first on the team sheet at the moment is that of Charlie Austin and Mee has nothing but admiration for a striker he wouldn’t swap for anyone.

“Charlie’s banging in goals for fun and his record speaks itself. He’s on fire this season, so we wouldn’t swap him for anyone. He’s stepped up to the plate really well this season.

“He just scores for fun, that’s what he’s about, headers and any types of goals, he’s been really good for us. We missed him the other night and hopefully he can keep fit and he’ll bang in the goals for us all season.

“We want to keep him so we don’t want to put a price tag on him, he’s obviously doing well at the minute and hopefully he continues doing that with us. He’s massively important to us.”

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