BURNLEY boss Eddie Howe feels the arrival of Nathan Delfouneso has lifted the players.
The Aston Villa striker joined on loan on Tuesday, hours before the trip to Hull City, and netted what went on to be the winning goal four minutes into his debut.
Howe had seen his striking options savanged by injury, with Charlie Austin, Steven Thompson and Martin Paterson all potentially out for the rest of the season.
But he beat a number of suitors to land the England Under 21 forward on loan until the end of the season, and he feels it is something of a coup: “We’re delighted to get him.
“The fact he chose us ahead of a number of other clubs really pleases me and that’s given the lads a boost as well.
“Now we’ve got really good striking options and it has strengthened us.”
Delfouneso was quick off the mark, turning in Jay Rodriguez’s deflected effort from a smart corner routine, but Howe was impressed with his overall performance: “It was a great start to the game. He was in the right place at the right time, that’s what goalscorer’s do.
“I’m delighted that he scored and I thought his all-round contribution was very good as well.
“He showed what he’s about; he’s athletic, he’s quick and he’s also technically very good, so it was a really pleasing debut.”
The goal earned a third-successive league win, putting the Clarets firmly back in the promotion mix, ahead of a home double header against Millwall tomorrow, and a key game in hand on Tuesday against Coventry.
Howe is delighted with that statistic, but as pleased by the fact his team have shipped only six goals in nine league games, recording a second-straight clean sheet at Hull: “We scored early again, which is great, but it also at times can be difficult when you’re in the lead for that long, you’re protecting a lead, and it’s sometimes difficult.
“As much as you don’t want to you can sink a little deep at times.
“All in all the players have been excellent again and showed real desire to win the game.
“The second clean sheet in a row pleases me more than anything because the lads were dogged and determined.
“We tried to play quite compact and difficult to penetrate, and I thought the whole team, from back to front, defended very well, and when he needed to our goalkeeper made some great saves as well.
“I thought we defended set plays well also.
“They put a lot of balls in our box and full credit to the lads for keeping Hull out.
“You can see why they’ve gone on a good run, they’re a good side – that makes it even more pleasing to come here and win.”