Date: 4th April 2011 at 10:50am
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We bring you our usual weekly update on some little snippets of Clarets news that you may have missed…

Clarets International-Give Us a Break!

We have already reported the bad news last week regarding Jack Cork who was rushed to hospital at half-time during the England Under 21 international friendly against Iceland at Deepdale on Monday night. He was suffering from palpitations and had an increased heart rate necessitating an overnight stay in hospital for observation. He was released the day after and returned to his parent club Chelsea for further medical checks. Eddie Howe is hopeful he will still have some part to play in our promotion push but he was not fit enough to play in Saturday`s game against Ipswich.

There was better news however for our other on-loan player, Nathan Delfouneso. He too lined up for England Under 21 against Iceland and the Aston Villa striker managed to get on the score sheet. Sadly though we lost the game 2-1 despite the Fonz`s opening goal on 16 minutes.

The goal came after Reading keeper, Alex McCarthy had just made two important saves in quick succession at the other end to reclaim possession for England. In the counter attack, Danny Rose got in a piercing ball that split the Icelandic defence allowing Delfouneso to run clear and thump home a low shot past the Icelandic keeper, Haraldur Bjornsson.

Sadly Stuart Pearce’s under strength team struggled to build on that early lead and Iceland equalised three minutes before the interval. Alfred Finnbogason released Arnor Smarason to get behind Nathan Baker and the Iceland winger easily beat McCarthy to make the score 1-1.

Elfar Helgason in the second half made it 2-1 with a glancing near post header from a Smararson corner that flew into the top corner of the net. Delfouneso was substituted with 15 minutes left to play but by then Iceland looked to have secured victory and so it would prove. So it was a mixed night then for Eddie Howe who was present at the game.

David Edgar also played for Canada over the international break picking up his second cap.He came on as a substitute in the 77th minute of their game against Belarus which was actually played in Turkey. Canada won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Houston Dynamo central defender André Hainault who headed home from a corner on 58 minutes.

Edgar will now be hoping he has done enough to be considered for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in June. Canada will play USA, Guadeloupe and Panama over an eight day period in the States (Detroit, Tampa and Kansas respectively)

McCann Returns and Plays in Reserves

Chris McCann played almost 40 minutes in Tuesday night`s League West reserves game against Oldham. It has certainly been a long haul for the 23 year old midfielder. He had played just 100 minutes of football since January 2010 succumbing first to cruciate and medial ligament damage that required corrective surgery and then suffering migraine attacks that in the end required head surgery to cure the symptoms.

There will however be no rush to get him back into the first team with just eight games of the season left to play. McCann will be taking it steady and will progress his comeback one step at a time starting with another Reserves game against Morecambe at Turf Moor this week.(Tuesday 5th April 7pm Kick-Off)

Talking about his return, McCann said:

“I was wishing the clock down so I could come on. I think I was started to get on the nerves of a couple of people keeping saying ‘sub` all the time to bring me on.

“I think they did it well in coming on when I did, because it was tough enough.

“I felt it after 40 minutes running around, but it`s just good to be back.

“I was trying to feel my way back into the game. The last thing I wanted to do was go hell for leather and pull up with something else – a different injury or something like that.

“But I needed to go into a couple of tackles for my own peace of mind, and obviously I need to be tackled a couple of times as well to make me feel more and more confident, but that will come the more I play.

“Hopefully I`ll just roll on to next week and it`s more of the same.”

Chris McCann then went on to talk about his hopes for the rest of the season:

“I still think I need a couple more (reserve) games yet for my fitness. I think I`m naturally fit anyway so hopefully that will come.

“There`s another game next week so I`ll play in that again and see how I feel from there.

“I just want to come back and play a couple of reserve games and see how I feel.

“My fitness will probably be the biggest factor, trying to get up to speed. I need to sharpen up a little bit but hopefully that will come over the next couple of training sessions and doing a little bit extra on the field.

“There`s no substitute for games, so next week is going to be another one that I need to play in and try to build on what I did on Tuesday night.”

It`s all going tits-up for Reserves

Good news then for Chris McCann playing his first competitive game in 14 months for the Reserves against the Oldham second-string on Tuesday night last week. Bad news though that the second-string`s torrid form in 2011 continued with yet another defeat going down 3-2 at Turf Moor thanks to a late Latics winner. The result means they have now lost three of their last four games with the league title now slipping from their grasp. They were firmly ensconced at the top of the table until the turn of the year at one point leading by eleven points. The Clarets have now slipped to third behind Preston and Wrexham although they are still only one point behind both having also played one game more than Preston and one less than Wrexham.

Burnley started the brighter of the two sides and nearly took an early lead. A header by Michael King from a Ross Wilson cross tested the Oldham keeper, Shaun Routledge but he was equal to it turning the ball round the post. Ashley Hoskin will have been disappointed though to see the Latics take the lead on 13 minutes. The pacey, Robert McGrady charged into the box and his attempt at a shot was instead turned in at the far post by Ryan Burns to put Oldham 1-0 up.

The Clarets though equalised after a cross from Curtis Woods found Dominic Knowles who let with a shot that was initially saved by the Latics keeper. Wes Fletcher though, playing his first match since his ankle injury, picked up on the rebound to level the scores.

1-1 then the score at half-time!

The second half was now turning out to be a pretty scrappy affair but the biggest cheer of the night was reserved for Chris McCann when he came on from the bench on 53 minutes to play his first competitive game in fourteen months. Trialist, Louis-Rae Beadle made way for the returning star.

Burnley regained the lead following a clever, sweet pass from Chris Lynch to put Fletcher clear down the inside left channel. Holding the ball up, he laid it off to Joe McKee. Cutting inside, McKee swivelled to shoot the ball sweetly into the net inside the near post.

Latics levelled again though. Nik Kudiersky should have done better with a punt downfield but the ball fell to Stevens who scored with a left-footed shot inside the far post to make it 2-2.

Oldham then took all three points getting the winner late on after James Tarkowski coolly slotted home a Stevens` pass

Burnley: Cook; Overson, Kudiersky (Yadolahi 75), C. Lynch, Woods; Wilson, Beadle (McCann 53), McKee, King; Fletcher (Jackson 60), Knowles

Subs not used: Mawson, Williams, Taylor, Heweitt.

10,500 Early Bird Season Tickets Sold

The club have just announced 2011-12 Early Bird Season Ticket sales of 10,500. The Early Bird period expired on Thursday 31st March and sales will now be suspended until further notice. Current season ticket holders will have a chance to change their seat during a week this month to be advised following processing of the Early Bird applications.

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