Date: 5th November 2011 at 11:10am
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Cornwall Claret recently contacted the site raising some interesting questions:

Pato and Duff? What next?

‘We have players who will soon be recovered from injuries, particularly Pato and Duff. Presumably they will possibly figure in reserve matches and sub appearences until fully match fit. What then? Hopefully we will then have an established and reasonably successful team, so what do we do about these two experienced players? Will it be automatic elevation to first choice or let them fight for their place. Interesting conundrum for EH and his youth policy. I would gradually wean them into the team as I think we would benefit from their experience.’

Cornwall Claret

Of course a few things have moved on since we received the above.

Michael Duff has indeed fully recovered from his knee injury and was on the bench for the recent Leicester game at Turf Moor in midweek. Indeed he made a strange,short cameo appearance coming on to replace Bartley in the 90th minute to play as a striker! Duff could struggle though to regain his centre-back position with Edgar, Amougou and Mee all fighting for a place. He last played in that position in the Barnet game in the Carling Cup back in August.

Martin Paterson is making progress too after being sidelined since the opening game of the season at home to Watford when he suffered a recurrence of his old persistent thigh problem. Although Pato is still not ready for first-team action, he is ready to step up his recovery following news that he is being lined-up to possibly play in a behind-closed-doors game later this month during the international break.

Will Paterson find it easy to dislodge either Austin or Rodriguez when he is fully-fit and raring to go? Zavon Hines may also have something to say about that. Danny Ings too could also compete for a place up front once he fully recovers from his torn cartilage. The latest on Ings is that the 19 year old striker is on course to make his long-awaited Burnley debut at the start of January. Ings` rehabilitation from surgery has progressed well but he is likely to need some match practice before being ready to make his possible debut in about 8 weeks time. Let’s not also forget Alex MacDonald, another striker who has been a more involved fringe player this season and could be ready for a more regular place.

So what do you think? In the New Year, assuming we can hold onto all our players in the January window, how do you think our back four and forward line will look? What would be your preferred options? Let us know below this article.

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