It's Backy to Accy!
The Clarets fresh from the rigours of their US Tour are now back in the UK and have had just a day or so to shake off the jetlag before being back in action.
They now face a short trip down the road to League 2 Accrington Stanley for their now traditional summer pre-season friendly at the Crown Ground. (Tuesday 28th July Kick Off 7:30pm)
Clarets fans are reminded that this is an all ticket affair with no cash admission on the evening.
Accrington will certainly be looking for a good turn out though being currently in dire financial straits.Stanley currently have to fork out £25,000 per month to the Inland Revenue and have been short of income because of a lack of gate receipts in pre-season.
Chief executive Rob Heys said recently:
"We do desperately need money coming into the club at the moment because obviously we`ve no income over the summer.Not meeting the payments is not an option but we do need support, whether that is with investment or the £15 at the turnstile.We need people to come out and support the club whether that is at the friendlies, through the weekly draw or the various other things they can do."
It`s been a difficult time for the club, not helped also by off-the-field incidents regarding betting scandals.
Manager John Coleman told the Lancashire Telegraph recently:
'I'm just trying to get on with my job.What's happened with Bobby Grant and Ian Dunbavin, and the others (banned for betting), is totally separate from the club and should be treated as such but, unfortunately, some people don't want to do that.'
I guess it makes you realise how lucky we are to be Clarets fans at the moment riding high in the Premier League but it is never nice to see a football club struggle and that applies even more to our local neighbours. Let`s hope we see a good turn out tonight.
Unless Clarets fans were lucky enough to travel out to the West Coast this is probably the first chance they will have to see our new signings, Brian Easton and Richard Eckersley. For some, they may even be seeing our earlier signings, Mears, Fletcher and Edgar play for the first time too unless they traipsed to Bradford and Morecambe.
Of course it is difficult to know what team selections Owen Coyle will go for but it is probably likely that we shall see at some point in the game all our new signings play. At the moment there appears to be only one player who definitely won`t feature. Martin Paterson missed both games on the US Tour after picking up a tight hamstring in training and he will sit out the match tonight as well.He is however expected to be fit for Saturday`s friendly at Turf Moor against Leeds United on August 1st (3pm KO)
Another player who might not feature is Michael Duff. Late on in the Timbers game, Duff appeared to injure his ankle in the uneven baseball pitching area at PGE Park in Portland and had to be replaced by Edgar We however await news of his fitness
In view of the jetlag, Coyle might be tempted to play those that didn`t feature heavily in the last game against Portland Timbers last Saturday night in the PGE Park stadium at least in terms of a starting eleven but it is likely he will wring the changes for the start of the second half if not on the hour mark.
There are now just 19 days to go until we start the new season, our first in the Premier League away to Stoke on Saturday August 15th. It will be interesting to see if Coyle now changes tack and begins to play a team he has in mind for a starting eleven more and more rather than give everybody in the squad a run out. There will no doubt though still be room for experimentation and tactical changes tonight against Stanley but it is difficult to predict the starting line up.
Let`s just hope we can maintain our winning streak whatever happens. It`s always nice to win, for confidence reasons if nothing else although it does still remain a fact that the results of these games are not really that important. What is important is that we have a fully fit, confident squad ready to play in the best league in the World come 15th August.