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Keeping Something in Reserves!

Burnley FC played a rare Reserves game last night having had to endure a number of postponed games recently due to the inclement weather these past few months.

This was only their second home game of the season and the decision had been made to change the venue from Accrington Stanley's Crown Ground to Turf Moor for the visit of Manchester City Reserves.

The match was originally scheduled to be played at the Crown Ground last week but it had been postponed due to Accrington Stanley having a home game the night before. Even that game had to be postponed due to a frozen pitch!

A recent decision to also postpone our game against Liverpool Reserves due to surface water on the Crown Ground following a snowfall overnight caused furore amongst Supporters Clubs and Clarets fans with some calling for a change in the venue and a return to Turf Moor for the second-string games. The main problem was that a midday inspection had given the go-ahead for the match to be played but the ground staff were unable to remove enough surface water in time for the kick-off so a late postponement was announced causing inconvenience for a number of fans.

It is clear therefore that Stanley's groundsmen have been struggling to cope with the harsh weather conditions and it has been a frustrating time foe all.

There is no indication yet that Turf Moor will become the regular venue for the second-string games although that would certainly be popular with Clarets fans and Burnley Supporters Clubs.

Tha main argument against moving these games back to Turf Moor could be the affect it would have on the pitch for first team games, especially if we were relegated and had more midweek games to contend with.

It remains to be seen though what action is eventually taken but anyway lets return to last night's game.

A Manchester City second-string comprised of mainly youth team players had an easy time against Burnley Reserves despite our side containing a number of experienced first team players including Nicky Weaver, Graham Alexander, Michael Duff, David Edgar, Stephen Jordan, Joey Gudjonsson and Steven Thompson.

They won the match 4-1 despite the Clarets taking an early lead. A pass by Gudjonsson into the box had the keeper flapping before Thompson vollyed into the net to put the Clarets 1-0 up.

City though came back with a vengence and by half-time were leading 2-1 thanks to a brace from 17 year old striker, John Guidetti.

A highly controversial penalty put City 3-1 up with City's Andrew Tutte scoring from the spot.

Another penalty followed after Weaver brought down James Poole. This time they gave Guidetti a chance to get his hat-trick. Weaver saved his attempt from the spot but the ball fell to the young striker's feet and he made no mistake after being given his second chance to score.

Not a good night for the Clarets and a game that was not particularly entertaining but there were some interesting side issues surrounding the match.

Graham Alexander played over 60 minutes of football before being replaced by Chris Anderson on 64 minutes. This is good news and suggests Grezza could be close to a return to the first team having been sidelined with a calf injury since the match against Bolton at the Reebok in January.

There was also a new trialist on show for the Clarets, 29 year old Cameroon international midfielder Salomon Olembé who lined up in left midfield as part of a 4-4-2 formation. He did not have a particularly good game though and was replaced for the start of the second half. That is probably the last we might see of the former Nantes. Marseilles, Leeds and Wigan player!

One player who was surprisingly missing last night was Chris McCann. He was not even named on the bench which begs the question has he suffered a setback in terms of recovering from his knee injury?

McCann played recently in a knockabout against Dynamo Kiev whilst the club took a break out in Portugal last month.

Laws had been saying he thought McCann needed a couple of games in the Reserves to get back to full match fitness for the first team. They had all been clearly frustrated with the Reserves games being continually postponed so it was perhaps odd when we eventually played one there was no sign of McCann?

City's win keeps them in second place in the Barclays Premier Reserve League table whilst midtable Burnley Reserves' next game is against Everton this week on Thursday 4th March. This is classed as a 'home' game and at the moment will be played at the Crown Ground.


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The Journalist

Writer: turfmanphil Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 2 2010

Time: 10:45AM

Your Comments

any of the opptomist like to go first?
palsdad
Well they are a pretty talented bunch of kids this City lot and they are 2nd so its perhaps not surprising we lost. To lose 4-1 though with a side that could be considered an alternative first team is rather worrying! Sorry palsdad you said optimists! :-(
turfmanphil
Good news on Alexander who hopefully will shortly be back to provide some stability in midfield. Not so good if McCann's absence is still down to his injury. On the optimistic front palsdad, he could have the flu or the s***s or something.
WelshClaret
things are looking up, we only conceded 4!!!!!!
palsdad
If only the first team could start playing like they did against City at COMS. They had belief back then. Its essentially the same set of players. Where has all that energy, drive, grit and determination gone? [Edited by turfmanphil]
turfmanphil
Last nights result is somewhat unimportant. Getting players fit - particularly Grezza was the most important thing we wanted out of last night. We miss him, just like we miss Mccann.
Claretdale
We had enough of a battle on our hands as it was, but to go through the loss of a popular and respected (at the time) manager and the manner and timing of his defection , would have been enough to destroy any team's moral and confidence. Add to that the appointment of a new manager together with his new introductions and ideas into the squad and you've got the classic case of rocking the boat. Not Law's fault, he's doing all he can under the circumstances . Saturday's result and innevitable crowd reaction wil hopefully galvanise them to produce the kind of performances that we all want to see, and which we have seen with this same group of players. Pompey reacted to their situation, now it's our turn. I hope to hell it comes off.
WelshClaret
I wouldn't go as far back as the City game TMP, I'd go back to our away game at OT, yes we lost but I thought they played outstanding, so what has happened in those few short weeks. Has BL wiped out all the motivational and confidence that OC instilled in the players.
sheclaret
It could be down to the effects that WC states above! Some of the players would have been used to Coyle and been his favourites. They might be finding it the hardest to adjust to Laws ways but who knows! You can have all the faith and optimism in the world but until we see any positive displays on the pitch under Laws you cant argue with folk showing deep concern and worry about the current situation. You are right the fall in performance since Man U has been drastic and it is hard to see at the moment how that trend is going to be reversed. Laws now has a chance to show what he is worth and show the Doubting Thomases he has what it takes! If he hasn't we should have brought in a manager who had. [Edited by turfmanphil]
turfmanphil
Do not want a witch hunt against Brian Laws like the hateful one we saw with many Claret fans against Steve Cotterill. I will give Brian much more time before I start casting stones.
Grimsby Claret
Alexander reckons he will be fit and ready for Arsenal, I hope so but whether Laws will play him is anybodys guess?
8clarets8
Alexander for Bikey in midfield,Bikey to replace Carlisle in back four and partner Cort?
turfmanphil
Not sure I would trust Bikey in defence At the moment either? I would stick with Carlisle (despite his comedy of errors last game) Maybe Caldwell if back of even Duff? Edgar does not convince me, maybe throw Long in?
8clarets8
I'd like to see Bikey in the back four as well, he's a solid defender but his main weakness has been tracking back, but if he's there already ? Carlisle on the bench just in case, and definitely Alexander back as the midfield general. Haven't heard anything about Caldwell though, is he ready to return?
WelshClaret
I'm not sure about Bikey either. Although I said Calisle should be dropped when a bit emotional straight after the game, I'm now with 8clarets8. Carlisle had a horror game but he has been a stalwart in many games and deserves a chance to put it right. He is normally the first to boot it into the stands instead of fiddling about like he did for the second goal. Mind you it was stupid of Fox to throw the ball into the penalty area anyway, if he had thrown it forward as he should have done then no problem. I would bring Alexander back immediately, not just for his play but his combativeness and his leadership. His play is underrated too - just because he doesn't do hollywood passes. Fergie told Alistair Campbell that he was impressed with his play. Finally we are due another penalty! Palsdad we aren't optomistic but the team have given us some fantastic times in the last year and getting stuck into them won't help. Bolton are a good example of that. Constructive criticism fine but I'm positive that they don't want to be relegated any morwe than us so they will be doing all they can to stay up which is all we can ask.
ozjean
 

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