Date: 22nd November 2011 at 1:16pm
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Clarets fans may be wondering if Burnley are still in the market for loan players before the window closes on Thursday this week.

Burnley brought in striker, Sam Vokes on loan from Wolves last Friday in a move which surprised many Clarets fans.

The main priority in many fans minds is to improve our defence but as yet Eddie Howe has struggled to find anybody suitable since the loan window opened. It is clearly an area we need to improve having now gone 7 games without keeping a clean sheet with only one to crow about in well over 30 matches.

The arrival of Vokes who signed a loan deal until the 15th January puzzled a number of fans in view of our apparant wealth of strikers on the books. Until Saturday we had five fit strikers in our squad before Vokes arrived-Charlie Austin, Jay Rodriguez, Zavon Hines, Alex MacDonald and Wes Fletcher. In addition of course both Martin Paterson (thigh) and Danny Ings (cartilage) were also making good progress and both could soon be available for selection in the New Year with Paterson the more advanced in his recovery.

Disaster struck however on Saturday when Charlie Austin dislocated his shoulder against Leeds at Turf Moor and had to be stretchered off in the 30th minute.

The news today is that the injury may not be as bad as first feared but Austin will still be out of action for some time.

Sam Vokes looks like he could be playing on a more regular basis now after replacing Austin and making his debut on Saturday.

So that of course begs the question, if we needed Vokes before the Austin tragedy, do we now need another striker to cover for Austin’s injury?

The answer to that would appear to be yes based on comments from assistant manager, Jason Tindall on Saturday:

‘We might move again, Sam came in to give us an extra body, and then we lose Charlie, so we`re still where we were before Sam came in.

“But it`s very difficult, a lot of clubs don`t want to let their players out on loan because similiar scenarios might happen to ours, when you lose a player to injury.

“Then you need to find a replacement yourself.”

The fact we are still in the loan market might be heartening to hear but the rationale provided is based on our striker situation so what is happening about our defence?

There has been no recent comment from either Eddie Howe or Jason Tindall on that score and many fans are disappointed to say the least at the lack of success in that department to date.

We just seem to be muddling along with our current back four options and we have certainly tried numerous combinations but at the end of the day, our defence remains the weak link, week in, week out so something certainly needs to be done to sort it out.

We shall have to see if we manage to strengthen our defence either in the few days remaining of the loan market or indeed in the January transfer window which will soon be upon us.

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