A SECOND clean sheet in five pre-season games was one of the plus-points for Clarets boss Eddie Howe on Tuesday night.
Howe gave new loan signing Kieran Trippier a debut, and gave Brian Easton 90 minutes at centre back, and the pair helped shut out League 1 Oldham at Boundary Park.
Howe said: “I thought we showed a different side to us.
“I thought we defended really well and restricted quite a direct side who get the ball forward to long-range shots.
“We’ve done quite a bit of defensive work in the last couple of weeks so I’m pleased with that.
“We can improve going forward and on the ball.
“But it was a battle out there with some tackles flying in.
“We competed, and that’s good to see.”
He was pleased with the debutant, and added: “I thought Kieran did well and showed what he’s about. He had good use of the ball and he got forward well. I think he’ll only get better the more he plays with the lads.
“But I though Michael Duff and Brian Easton in a different position and Foxy all defended very well as well.”
Martin Paterson played the full 90 minutes as well after being rested at Torquay: “I thought it was important that Pato got 90 minutes under his belt.
“We’ve eased him in gently in terms of minutes. We haven’t wanted to hit him too early.
“I thought it was the right time to get 90 under his belt and it’s an important step for him. I’m sure he’ll feel better and sharper for it.”
Howe rested the likes of Chris McCann, Jay Rodriguez, Andre Bikey, Ben Mee, David Edgar, Dean Marney and Brian Jensen, but explained: “There’s nothing in it.
“We looked at it and we wanted to get some 90 minutes in and a few of the lads hadn’t had that, so the ones that had we decided to give a rest to.
“The ones that hadn’t, we needed to get them some game time.
“Everyone’s got a clean bill of health at the minute.”