Date:Friday January 1 2010
Vital Burnley wishes all its readers and posters a Happy New Year hoping it's a happy one too for the Clarets as they attempt to survive their first season in the Premier League.
The club are currently in 14th spot on 20 points but only 2 points clear of the drop zone. We are one of about nine clubs currently fighting to avoid relegation from Stoke in 12th spot to bottom club, Portsmouth.Just seven points separate them and we have to hope by the end of the season that at least three of those clubs have done less well than the Clarets.
In addition to the Clarets, Stoke, Blackburn, Wolves, Wigan, West Ham, Bolton Hull and Portsmouth are the clubs hoping to survive and others such as Everton and Sunderland could be sucked into the battle to stay up.
Can we do it? Our away form is of course a concern with just one point so far on the road and no win to celebrate. This of course means we are relying more and more on 'Fortress Turf Moor' but in recent times we seem to have developed the bad habit of drawing at home and losing away, something that will need to improve if we are to be guaranteed survival.
In the last six games we have drawn at home 1-1 three times and lost away 2-0 three times! A consistency of sorts but the wrong sort with no win now in nine games.
You have to go back to October 31st for our last three points when we beat Hull City 2-0 at Turf Moor. Since that time we have had some creditable draws against Top 10 clubs including Manchester City at Eastlands and Aston Villa, Fulham and Arsenal at home but we have also had some very disappointing results with defeats away to West Ham,Portsmouth,Wolves and Everton and the Boxing Day draw at home against fellow strugglers, Bolton.
The frustrating thing for Clarets fans is that in most of these games we have had our chances and not taken them. In a lot of cases we have played well with little or no reward and we have to hope 2010 and the second half of the season will be a different story.
Looking at the points tally of those clubs relegated from the Premier League over the past six seasons a target of a minimum of 35 points could give us a reasonable chance of staying up so we have to find another fifteen points from somewhere.
There are some crucial games coming up and nothing less than three points will do against the following sides still to come to Turf Moor:
Stoke City, West Ham, Portsmouth, Wolves and Blackburn
If we get maximum points from those five games then will have reached the 15 points target.
Anything else would be a bonus and if god forbid we go the whole season without an away win lets hope at least for a point on the road against Bolton, Wigan and Hull.
Those 8 games are the one's that I think are the really important ones for the Clarets and if win those five at home and get three draws away we will be on 38 points and only one side in the past six seasons has been relegated with that number of points or more.
Come on you Clarets, you can do it, lets make this truly a Happy New Year for the second year running!
Date:Friday January 1 2010
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